Silicon Valley county passes new law requiring approval before cops buy spy kit

"Catherine Crump, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said that she was not aware of any county nationwide to implement such a law, but she noted that Seattle has a similar municipal law.

"It’s particularly important that a tech savvy jurisdiction in the heart of Silicon Valley model how we can achieve the benefits of surveillance technology without abandoning people’s privacy rights," she e-mailed Ars. "It seems likely that other counties and cities will use what Santa Clara has done as a model and feel more comfortable creating ground rules in this area."

Similarly, Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, also said she didn't know of any similar county-level ordinances.

"If secrecy breeds suspicion, openness encourages oversight," she e-mailed Ars. "In the post-Snowden era, communities want to know *how* the police are doing what they do, not just that they are achieving data-driven results.""