The NYPD’s head of counterterrorism bashed the City Council’s proposed surveillance legislation on Sunday.
Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller called the POST Act — short for Public Oversight of Police Technology — a “strange bill” while appearing on The Cat’s Roundtable with John Catsimatidis on AM 970.
“It would be a law that would endanger people because it would help criminals and terrorists, but it would also endanger police officers because it would allow criminals to learn way too much way too easily. It’s one-stop shopping,” Miller said. “It would be a little bit of a disaster. You have to ask yourself who thought this was a good idea and when?”
Miller said activists groups like the ACLU were the “drivers” behind the bill, which the council debated last Wednesday.
“The activists have in their mind this idea that police departments in cities like New York run massive surveillance programs targeting innocent civilians for no reason,” he said on the radio show. “Now, that’s nutty. I mean why would we do that? How could we do that? And how would it make sense?”
If passed, the bill would force the NYPD to disclose some details about surveillance technology, including X-ray vans and license-plate readers, as well as adopt privacy disclosures.
Miller previously called the proposed legislation “insane” and said it would provide a “road map for terrorists.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also slammed the bill, saying the desire to protect people’s privacy is “baked in” to the NYPD’s operations, and that there are “real checks and balances in place.”