Smart Decision 2014: Amendment 9 - Electronic Communications

2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago August 04, 2014 Aug 4, 2014 Monday, August 04 2014 Monday, August 04, 2014 12:26:00 PM CDT in News
By: Beth Anne Carroll, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

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
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
2 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
14 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
14 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for help identifying a truck believed to be involved in a hit... More >>
16 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:40:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title,... More >>
18 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two people were arrested Friday in connection with a terroristic threat, according to an email from Columbia police.... More >>
18 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers responded to shots fired early Sunday morning in Columbia, according to a news release. ... More >>
19 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:26:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 20-year-old man is charged in an attack on a 12-year-old girl... More >>
20 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:51:01 PM CST in News
JASPER (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is taking recycling to the extreme by building a house made from everything... More >>
21 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A University of Missouri professor hopes his invention of a new mug that maintains the coffee's temperature... More >>
21 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:56:06 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new governor, Eric Greitens, is pushing to give the state the country's toughest penalties for... More >>
23 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:28:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of Jefferson City will learn more about two measures on the April ballot when Jefferson City... More >>
23 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 8:55:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri (CAAM) raised more than $1,500 Saturday night for the after-school program, Granny's... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:15:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Thousands of protesters, mostly women, gathered in Missouri's two biggest cities and Kansas' capital city in... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A central Missouri technical college plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the school's... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:37:52 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making a school choice measure called education savings accounts a priority... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:32:26 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Solidarity March was organized by area organization to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Counselors helped Columbia residents sign up for health care insurance Saturday, amid rising concern over the repeal of... More >>
1 day ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:02:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
9am 38°
10am 37°
11am 38°
12pm 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Celebrity Apprentice
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld