Smart Decision 2014: Amendment 9 - Electronic Communications

3 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Monday, August 04 2014 Aug 4, 2014 Monday, August 04, 2014 12:26:00 PM CDT August 04, 2014 in News
By: Beth Anne Carroll, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - One of the constitutional amendments Missourians will vote on August 5 would add electronic data communications to the list of items protected from search and seizure. 

See opposing arguments. See supporting arguments.

The ballot language states: "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?"

Under the amendment, investigators and law enforcement would need search warrants to gain access to a person's text messages, e-mails and any personal accounts. 

Such measures have become common throughout the United States, in part as a result of the disclosure of National Security Agency documents by Edward Snowden, sparking discussions of online and electronic privacy. 

Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) sponsored the measure with Sen. Bob Dixon (R-Greene County) in the Missouri Senate. If approved, the measure will amend Section 15 of Article 1. 

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested without a warrant. However, the Missouri measure includes  laptops and communications rather than just cellphones.

SUPPORT FOR AMENDMENT NINE (See opposing arguments.)

Many groups have shown support for the measure, including Protect our Privacy, the ACLU of Missouri, the Consitution Party of Missouri and United for Missouri. In the Missouri House of Representatives, the measure received 114 "yes" votes and only 28 "no" votes. 

Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Pacific) helped shepherd the measure through the House. He said passing the amendment would be a big step, not only for the privacy of Missourians, but also for the rest of the country.

"I think it's important for the Missouri voters because I think that we have a state government that's not as mindful of the security of the people's data as maybe they need to be," Curtman said. "So it's good for Missouri citizens, but it's also going to be good to help send a message to the federal government and to other states that the people of Missouri and the people of other states are really speaking out on this and very much want the governments to respect our inherent rights to privacy and respect our reasonable expectation of privacy."

Curtman said the measure simply supports a basic right.

"One thing that Americans have in common is the value of our freedom and our privacy and right to privacy is definitely part of that."

In its voter guide on the measure, The League of Women Voters said, "Proponents say the amendment is a logical extension of existing protections from unwarranted searches and seizures. They believe electronic data should be protected as well. They say unless there is evidence of criminal activity, they have concerns about the increased tracking of cell phone information and other private electronic data."

OPPOSITION FOR AMENDMENT 9(See supporting arguments.)

While no organized opposition has formed against Amendment 9, some critics of the measure say it has drawbacks, especially when it comes to its impact on law enforcement. 

A member of the Boone County Sheriff's Department's Cyber Crimes Task Force said the bill's language could cause confusion as to what officers can legally search without a warrant. 

"From what I've kind of looked at, the wording on that, it's not going to effect us any, but the verbage, I believe, is electronic communication and it's kind of broad," Tracy Perkins, a sheriff's department detective, said. "So, those words, I mean, everybody has their own interpretation of what it means. So it could, if other people look at it differently. That's the only problem I see."

Perkins also said the amendment won't necessarily change anything because most officers already get search warrants before searching now. 

"Anything that has personal data on it, we automatically get a search warrant for that. Obviously, if we don't have the written permission from that owner or we have the search warrant. But we've been doing that ever since we've had the cyber crimes unit and most law enforcement are doing that, they're already adhering to that," Perkins said. 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Charity bikers gathered in Centralia today to show support for a young sexual assault survivor. At least... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:05:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cooper's Landing had its first Rock n' Roll River Festival Saturday, where families enjoyed food, a fun atmosphere... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 4:35:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
CAMDENTON - The goal of the seventh annual Lake of the Ozarks Air Show on Saturday was to salute veterans.... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 4:14:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Central Missouri chapter of Parents of Murdered Children and Missouri Missing hosted a memorial picnic Saturday... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:55:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has one of the lowest enrollment rates when it comes to the 529 College Savings Plan.... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Today MU, Auburn, Clemson and LSU are announcing their partnership in the U.S. Tiger University Consortium. Clemson president... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:16:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in Top Stories
EVERTON (AP) — Missouri school districts that adopted a four-day school week in recent years are not finding the savings... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:14:48 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A school district in Kansas City is praising a bus driver for safely getting 34 children... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:10:35 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An undercover police officer and an Air Force lieutenant were among the 120 people who were... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:07:00 PM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Latter House Kingdom Ministries of Columbia will host their tenth annual Fall Festival today at the... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, September 23 2017 Sep 23, 2017 Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:59:00 AM CDT September 23, 2017 in News
ELDON - The people of Eldon are rallying around a family whose son suffered a spinal injury during football practice... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 7:31:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A local gym held a fundraiser Friday night, and all it asked for was five minutes. But... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 7:03:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - One person is dead and three more are injured after a two vehicle crash on I-70. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Planned Parenthood is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate an appeals court order that slowed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 5:47:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens will begin his first trade mission Saturday when he and First Lady Sheena... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 5:20:15 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Thirteen-year-old Jackson Morton was diagnosed with cancer in December 2016. "You can't even describe the emotion at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 4:58:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jefferson City Public Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum released a letter addressing the three students who posted a picture... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 4:05:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Orthopaedic Institute is now offering a free sports clinic called Friday Night Lights. Sports physicians... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 22 2017 Sep 22, 2017 Friday, September 22, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT September 22, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
1am 75°
2am 74°
3am 72°
4am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
11:00p
Crazy
1:00a
Cops
1:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
The Karate Kid III
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy