Strongest Email Privacy Bill in the U.S. Is on Gov. Rick Perry's Desk

Categories: Legislature

jonstrickland.jpg
Burnt Orange Report
Representative Jon Strickland
Unless Governor Rick Perry uses his veto, Texas is set to enact the most stringent email privacy protections in the country. The legislation, passed unanimously, would require state law enforcement agencies to secure search warrants before accessing emails.

Previously, Texas mirrored federal rules, which make a nonsensical distinction between recent emails and emails that are older than 180 days. For the latter, law enforcement don't need search warrants. A federal appeals court ruled back in 2010 that the feds can't force an Internet service provider to give up emails without a court order, but the other circuits have been split on the issue ever since.

The bill authored by GOP freshman Jonathan Strickland, whose district encompasses parts of Bedford, Euless and Hurst, won't touch federal investigations. Yet it may push Congress to take up reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed into law nearly two decades ago, and spur renewed consideration in the federal judiciary. An ACLU senior policy analyst told Ars Technica:

It sends a signal to conservative members who might not yet be on board that this is something being supported in their own states and it helps the courts to see that this is a safe space to venture into. When cities and states start protecting e-mail, then judges may feel like there is a reasonable expectation of privacy."

Not bad for the pistol-packing Tea Party freshman legislator, who was voted second-worst in the state by Texas Tribune readers. In January, he told the Austin American-Statesman: "I plan on having the most conservative voting record in the entire House of Representatives." It was not clear at press time just what the hell that actually means.

The email privacy bill was pushed largely by the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition, which announced on its website that "Texas may be the first state in the nation to take this step, and we're way ahead of Congress."



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23 comments
Don North
Don North

At least someone has balls, it won't stop the feds, they read and monitor 100% of all communications, cell, landlines, emails, and smoke signals from monstrous data centers in San Antonio, Utah, Maryland, and Virginia.

Ben Britt
Ben Britt

I'm sure if given the chance Rick will screw it up like everything else he does.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

Looking at the shape  Jon Strickland is in I'd say he would probably be too winded to even pull the trigger from the strain of getting the gun out of it's holster. 

roo_ster
roo_ster

Since few folks here in Texas have been agitating for this, it is entirely possible that this bill is in accord with Strickland's conservative philosophy and not just some accidental spinoff.  Coming to that conclusion might require folk like Mr. Hargrove to actually understand conservatism and approach its adherents with some semblance of good faith.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

So I'm looking at this "crackpot" litany, and the first three are to make it an excused absence for a student to visit a parent coming back from or going to war, to change the archaic "railroad commission" name to what they actually do (which has nothing to do with railroads), and to make it so that official notices go on the internet instead of the classified section of dead tree newspapers that no one reads anymore.

Wow, what a fucking psycho.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

So am I supposed to be impressed or alarmed that he is showing his Firearm ?

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I hope Perry signs this. But, I'm betting he won't. He'll probably come up with some BS excuse about it hindering the war on drugs, terror, or bad hair.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I would pay to see him sumo wrestle Gov Christie after they compete in a hot dog eating contest.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@roo_ster 

Would that "conservatives" might do the same for more liberal representatives when they sometimes stumble across common sense legislation. What a wondrous world it would be, if only . . .

Alas, I stopped believing in fairy tales a loooong loooongt time ago.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@everlastingphelps But, he has a picture of himself wearing a firearm, so, you know, everything he says or does is tainted......

wilme2
wilme2

@oakclifftownie Well, CHL means Concealed.  So as a fellow CHLer, I think he isn't Concealing very well at all, and if intentional, then that is a crime under Texas law. 

Now if he is legally a peace officer or something, then I guess... 

Wait, didn't they pass a bill that gives legislators special weapons rules?  That ticked me off, I think they should follow CHL rules - that way they have to live with the stupid rules they make up...

pak152
pak152

@Tim.Covingtonwell if you had read the Ars Technica piece you would have seen this caption
"Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign the e-mail privacy bill, which passed both houses of the state legislature without a single "nay" vote."

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@pak152  

Attacking Strickland's lack of common sense was the easy way out. 


RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@wilme2 @oakclifftownie An inside the waistband holster would present a logistical nightmare to the august Representative....

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