Attorney General Plans Summit To Discuss Electronic Communication Privacy

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Monday he will hold a summit in October to discuss updating Missouri's current electronic communication laws. This comes after the recent scandal surrounding a British tabloid accused of hacking into the phone messages of celebrities, murder victims, and the families of dead soliders. Koster said he doesn't want this to happen in Missouri.

"We did a review and found that there were too many of our current laws that just didn't apply to the current technology," Koster said. "So it's time to bring stakeholders together, review these laws and try and catch up with the technology that's at hand."


Koster said he will bring together legislators, law enforcement, citizens, and advocacy groups to find out what they believe electronic communication privacy means. They will examine such platforms as voicemail, email, and unauthorized GPS tracking.


"My hope is we'll work with the legislature here in Jefferson City to try and put together an Electronic Privacy Act of 2012 for when the legislature comes back," Koster said.


Koster said his office did an experiment and found it "disturbingly easy" to hack into a regular person's voicemail.


"There are default settings that can be upgraded, but the telephone companies maybe aren't doing a good enough job of informing consumers about it," Koster said. "That's one of the things we want to talk about at this privacy summit."

Koster said he hopes to hold several summits in Kansas City, St. Louis and central Missouri.