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Utah Considers Warrantless Internet Subpoenas 234

seneces writes "The Utah State Legislature is considering a bill granting the Attorney General's Office the ability to demand customer information from Internet or cell phone companies via an administrative subpoena, with no judicial review (text of the HB150). This represents an expansion of a law passed last year, which granted that ability when 'it is suspected that a child-sex crime has been committed.' Since becoming law, last year's bill has led to more than one non-judicial request per day for subscriber information. Pete Ashdown, owner of a local ISP and 2006 candidate for the US Senate, has discussed his position and the effects of this bill."
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Utah Considers Warrantless Internet Subpoenas

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  • And now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:14AM (#31258258)

    This is a case study in why you can't pass exceptional legislation aimed at exceptional crimes. Just because a crime is particularly repugnant does not mean that we should lay down our rights to try and stop it. Don't be so lazy, find a better solution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      +1 insightful.

      Hopefully this legislative law will be overturned by the Utah Supreme Court, although it won't stop the practice. If the General Attorney asks a cellphone or internet company for information, they can still turn it over voluntarily. What do they care about the privacy of their customers?

      We need an amendment to our State Constitutions and eventually, our U.S. Constitution:

      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
      [including information held in third-pa

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        You might have a fancy modern Constitution thats open to interpretation.
        A living document with regard to current standards of equality.
        People living in Utah want a constitution that allows LEO to read your edocuments with no warrant,
        to seize you and then see if your rights have been violated if nothing is found.
        Thats not so unreasonable, they did have probable cause.
        If you feel you where violated as nothing was found the court can give your community an affirmation that you where only a "person of inte
        • by BobMcD ( 601576 )

          I think more accurately, the people behind this bill do not see electronic interactions as the same as the physical.

    • Re:And now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:56AM (#31258594) Journal
      Laws should not be passed just based on how they are to be used.

      They should be passed based on how they can be abused. If there are too many ways they can be abused (or if the impact of abuse is high), they should not be passed.
      • "You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered."
                -- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the U.S.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:46AM (#31259170) Journal
      Exactly, and just as I predicted. Child abuse and kiddie porn should be added as a clause to Godwin's law when it comes to legislative discussions: sooner or later someone is going to bring up "The Children" to defend their side of the argument.
      • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:06AM (#31259382)

        Not that my opinion ever matters to the talking heads on tv but whenever someone uses something along the "think of the children" line (in a non-satirical way) I consider their argument lost.

        Someone should pass a law enforcing that. If you use a "think of the children" argument you lose. And you get ground glass poured in your eyes.

    • by WCMI92 ( 592436 )

      That's why they always start with "child porn" etc, to get the "thin end of the wedge" into the Constitution. Then the hammer comes and they open it up to FAR more than "protecting the children".

  • it's hard to see how this can possibly be legal. A warrant being issued without judicial review first? That's like an omelet without a egg.
    • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:26AM (#31258356)
      The Patriot Act made this SOP at the federal level for anything related to a terrorism investigation. My guess is the same standard will soon apply to child porn investigations.

      Under the Patriot Act, FBI agents may issue National Security Letters to obtain comprehensive financial and communications records about anyone, including people suspected of no wrongdoing and no connection to terrorists or foreign powers. To do this, the FBI merely needs to claim the information is relevant to an investigation. Anyone receiving one of these orders is prohibited by law from speaking about it to anyone else, except their attorney. The FBI issues tens of thousands of NSLs each year, most of them directed at U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

      • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:36AM (#31258438)

        How I wish that my sig was only a joke.

        • For the Internet Archive / Wayback machine: His sig was:

          -Who's there?
          Under the Patriot Act, we don't have to tell you that.”

      • The simple fact is, all this stuff we are hearing in the news lately about what tunes governments are making ISPs dance to is solely WHAT WE ARE HEARING ABOUT.

        You can be quite certain that for every event we hear about, there are ten more we don't happening behind the scenes and gathering far more data.

        Everyone should consider their internet connection completely open to (at least) government scrutiny at all times. You should assume that everything that passes through your ISP is recorded and monitored by

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jc42 ( 318812 )

          You know what the hell of it is? If someone blew the whistle that the government was steaming open everyone's mail that passed through the USPS, people would be going ape-shit.

          But the fact that they monitor all electronic communications? Yawn.

          It's all part of a more general phenomenon that many people have noticed: A computer instantly invalidates all precedent. As soon as the word "computer" appears, people usually forget everything they ever knew, and have to relearn everything from scratch.

          This is espe

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkleinsc ( 563838 )

        The Patriot Act made this SOP at the federal level for anything related to a terrorism investigation.

        Who said they limited this to terrorism investigations? There's some evidence that these are in fact being misused for non-terrorism cases.

        Oh, and NSLs are probably just as unconstitutional as this bill. The issue with them, though, is that the person who would take the serious risk of challenging one in court is not actually the target of the investigation, but whoever the NSL is issued to.

        • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:44AM (#31259146) Homepage Journal

          There has been a tool in most states since long before 9/11, allowing the cops to come into your house and search at any time, with or without a warrant. Your friendly local game commission dude is a member of law enforcement. He accompanies many raids, here in Arkansas. The laws regarding game are considered "special". If the game commission thinks you've poached a deer, they can come in, search your house, and find it, at gunpoint, all without a warrant. The cops want to make a drug bust? No warrant necessary. Just call the game warden, tell the warden there's some suspicion that some guy poached a deer, and, oh yeah, there may be drugs and/or guns in the house, so we'll accompany you for "protection".

          Few people seem to realize that the erosion of rights has been going on for decades, rather than just the past nine years.

          • That's all good and dandy, but that evidence is illegal. Something even stronger than this has happened and was struck down - cops thought there were stolen goods from a jewelry store robbery, so they got a warrant, didn't find any jewelry, but opened a closet to a trashbag full of pot. They couldn't use it as evidence because their warrant didn't cover it.

            If they didn't even have a warrant, the evidence would be thrown out so fast it'd make your head spin. If it's a state matter, you guys should do somethi

            • In most cases, LE gets a warrant for X. If, in the search for X, they discover Y, they can quickly get the warrant ammended to cover the new discovery.

              A good example of this is that cops respond to a domestic disturbance and find evidince of drugs. They can detain the suspects and get a quick warrant to search for drugs. They then go back in the house and perform the search for drugs. In most cases, they don't have to leave the house while they wait for the warrant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        The Patriot Act made this SOP at the federal level for anything related to a terrorism investigation. My guess is the same standard will soon apply to child porn investigations.

        The Patriot Act (which should have been named "traitorous coward act") only covers federal agencies, not any state law enforcement agencies. I don't see how this bill will stand judicial scrutiny.

        • The Patriot Act (which should have been named "traitorous coward act") only covers federal agencies, not any state law enforcement agencies. I don't see how this bill will stand judicial scrutiny.

          It will withstand judicial scrutiny because the judicary was bought and paid for years ago.

        • That's incorrect. The Patriot Act allows state and local investigators to make Patriot Act requests for certain things such as pen registers.

      • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:56AM (#31258598) Journal

        >>>Under the Patriot Act, FBI agents may issue National Security Letters to obtain comprehensive financial and communications records about anyone, including people suspected of no wrongdoing and no connection to terrorists or foreign powers. To do this, the FBI merely needs to claim the information is relevant to an investigation

        This is why we can no longer depend upon the U.S. Supreme Court. They've had almost ten years to nullify this unconstitutional law and have not done so. Therefore I propose this:

        The "Protect the 9th and 10th Amendments" Act.
        ----- Proposed Amendment XXVIII.
        Section 1. After a Bill has become Law, if one-half of the States declare the Law to be "unconstitutional" it shall be null and void. It shall be as if the Law never existed. ----- Section 2. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths* of the several States by the date January 1, 2050.

        With this amendment, there'd be no need to wait for the 9 old people on the court. You (and your neighbors) could collectively instruct the State Legislature to declare the law "unconstitutional". Once 25 other legislatures have done the same, then the U.S. law would be voided, and there's be no more Patriot Act.

        My proposed amendment would simplify the process, shorten the time that an unconstitutional law sits on the books (2-3 years, not decades), and most-importantly, not require citizens to sit in jail or otherwise be spied upon.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1044817/constitution_day_review_of_laws_recently.html?cat=37 [associatedcontent.com]

          "The Sun Sentinel reported this week that a Riviera Beach law prohibiting the wearing of pants low enough to expose underwear or skin was declared unconstitutional after three young men were arrested and jailed after police spotted their boxer shorts showing above their pant waists." -- you can't give back to those men the time they spent in jail.

          "Two years ago a North Carolina court struck down as an uncons

        • Legislature doesn’t get to rule on whether laws are constitutional or unconstitutional. That is a function of the judicial branch. If you wanted to get a state to declare a law unconstitutional, you’d have to do it through the state supreme court. Your plan would still be interesting, though, since if enough states’ supreme courts ruled that a law was unconstitutional, it wouldn’t have to go to the federal supreme court for a ruling.

          However, if enough of the states want something, th

          • >>>That is a function of the judicial branch.

            Not correct. "The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches." - Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815

            AND: "The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, as

            • You are correct. I was also correct, although my choice of words was perhaps poor.

              What I was attempting to say is that a function of the judicial branch is to strike down unconstitutional laws. A function of the legislative branch is to repeal or amend bad laws.

              As repealing bad laws is already a function of the legislative branch, it would be redundant to give them the power to also rule a law unconstitutional... at which point, they would do what? repeal it or amend it, as those are the actions within thei

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dhalka226 ( 559740 )

          Sorry, no. Stupid laws are bad, but destroying the separation of powers is equally bad. Determining if a law is unconstitutional is a matter for the judiciary who are, at least supposedly, legal experts qualified to make such judgments and largely immune from retaliation for those decisions. Passing it off to elected officials is silly, particularly in a two-party system where laws are likely to be struck down just based on who's in power at any given moment.

          What I would like to see, however, is a meth

          • by DavidTC ( 10147 )

            I don't know about the other thing, but anyone should have standing to challenge whether or not a law is constitutional, both at the state and federal level. Or, at least, any citizen.

            Why? The Federal government is a tool of citizens joined by the constitution. Anything they do is automatically relevant to us from that direction, because they are doing it 'for' us.

            So we should not only have standing because they're doing things to us, we should have standing if they're doing things 'from' us, although tha

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          We should also include somewhere that the potential unconstitutionality of a law is in itself sufficient cause of action. That is, a law can be brought up for constitutional review without someone being on trial first. That would speed up the review process and keep the DOJ from protecting bad laws by dropping their prosecution just before it would reach the Supreme Court (but after dragging the defendant through hell for several years).

        • if one-half of the States declare the Law to be "unconstitutional" it shall be null and void.

          And how will this be determined?

          If it's the state government's decision, I highly doubt they'd overturn anything since they're likely as corrupt as Washington (note: I might have a skewed view of state politics since I'm from Illinois - here's hoping our next elected Governor isn't arrested).

          If it's based on a public ballot, I don't have faith in the general populace to be skeptical enough of any laws passed, and will likely be pushed through as "the Government would do wrong."

        • While we are on the topic of constitutional amendments, can we make one that states that no legislative body can legally pass a law that requires more page space than the constitution itself? I mean really, any law that requires more than a dozen or so pages to describe itself is far too complicated to be beneficial. We may make an exception for budget laws, but I'm kind of skeptical of even that.
        • Good intentions / idea in general. The only problem is, that of course “States” means “state governments”, meaning: “not the dickheads (judges) themselves, but instead their best friends, shall make the descision”. Which of course changes nothing at all. :/

          What is needed is to fix the fundamental problems:
          1. Enact a direct democracy.
          2. Split the country / states into smaller units, so that common views and laws are at all possible. (They are not, right now. Since there ar

        • by s73v3r ( 963317 )
          In order for the Supreme Court to nullify a law, the case has to be brought before them by someone adversely affected by it first. They can't just say, "We don't think this law is Constitutional" whenever legislation is passed. The question has to be posed to them first.
    • Ah, you mean an "administrative omelet"... Perfectly standard and legal, I assure you. Plus, its presence on the menu is our only defence against the paedoterrorist menace.
    • by Atriqus ( 826899 )
      Because the phrase "suspected child-sex crime" is equivalent to hitting the win button in a US government building; the merits don't actually need to make sense, as lot as someone declares it. Hell, it was probably the back-up line if "suspected weapons of mass destruction" didn't work.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:45AM (#31258494) Journal
      If a LEO sees something on a forum or in real time in a chat room, they cannot wait for paperwork from a judge to be filed, signed, stamped, sealed, delivered back to a LEO and then driven out to an isp to try its best searching a database for an ip and address 24-48 h later.
      Just trust the city or state police. Its not like the 1960's or 1970's, they have cleaned up at all levels - really.
      They work on multi year federal and international cases and there has been decades of quality law reform in every state of the union.
      Cointelpro was in the distant past, the Missouri Information Analysis Center report was a misunderstanding and quickly cleared up in the mainstream press.
      Just give your local LEO the tools they need to make the internet safe from power points of demonic activity.
      New net laws will allow the modern Utah internet user to have a faster internet again, ensuring shorter working hours, more safe time with the family online and lower mortgages.
      • Is your post serious? It sounds like a sound argument for this law, except the trust your local law enforcement. I generally do, but I don't feel I will always be able do do so. These aren't powers that can be easily taken back later. And I know from the way gun owners are treated in some localities that some parts of the country have a LONG ways to go before there can be the trust you talk about.

        • trust your local law enforcement. I generally do

          Tolerate, but watch with a critical eye. This method has served me well and I strongly recommend it.

          Those in positions of power worked long and hard to be there. Case by case, ask yourself, "Why?"

  • by CubicleView ( 910143 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:20AM (#31258304) Journal
    Not that I agree with the bill, but the summary obviously left out important details.

    His amended bill limits the power to suspected felonies and two misdemeanors -- cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment

    • I, for one, feel much better knowing that you'll be able to be the subject of a warrant without judicial review just for sending somebody a nastygram over the internet...
      • You don't even need that.

        A lot of cops carry around a fake search warrant, toss it into the hands of the homeowner and then just *walk in* without giving the homeowner a chance to read the fake document. Of course anything the cops find during this illegal search is inadmissible in court, but it can still be used in an interrogation room to extract a voluntary confession.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          It is, also, unfortunately the case that a lot of judicial review is of pretty shockingly low quality. "So, an unnamed 'confidential informant' says that there are drugs involved? Where do I sign! And would you prefer a 'knock and announce' or 'no knock' warrant?"

          While anybody who attempts to explicitly circumvent procedural safeguards is to be viewed with deepest suspicion, and stymied where possible, the fact that seemingly robust procedural safeguards can quietly rot away from the inside, without any
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DavidTC ( 10147 )

            Don't get me fucking started on SWAT teams and no-knock warrants.

            You're the police. You're paid to risk your life. You don't get to push that risk to innocent civilians because you're fucking scared of getting shot.

            If they shoot at you when you walk up and knock on the door, by all means, wear armor, have other people with guns in position, and, after they shoot at you, feel free to shoot back. But you don't get to assault a building because you have hallucinated they might be armed and willing to shoot y

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Worse, just for being suspected or "suspected" of sending a nastygram.

    • But if there isn't a review what keeps them from making sure that everyone isn't trying to commit "cyber-stalking", "cyber-harassment" or thousands of possible felonies? The last time I check it isn't all that hard to commit some kind of felony offense. Odds are you or someone you know did something this week that a case could be built around. Something that didn't involve voter fraud, murder, poisoning a river or doing horrible things to innocent children.

      So you ripped that tag off of the mattress. Can you

    • by http ( 589131 )
      If you've got enough evidence to suspect a felony, you've got enough evidence to obtain a warrant.
      Make no mistake about it, you have either evil or incompetent men and women at the helm to have this approved by the house committee.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      History suggests the limitations are null, so the summary ignores them. It just means that every suspect will be suspected of X and cyber-harrassment. Once the police have what they want they'll declare that the cyber-harrassment didn't pan out, and use the info to prosecute for X. If the bill declares that the information (or anything that information might lead to) may not be used for any other purpose (especially evidence in court), then it will be a real limitation.

  • BB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muckracer ( 1204794 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:25AM (#31258348)

    As always, Big Brother comes in small, fairly digestible steps. Note
    the progression below:

    > Last year, the Legislature granted prosecutors subpoena power
    > when they suspect a child-sex crime has been committed.

    Here it was one crime...of course the one, where it's really hard to
    say no to such a bill. Then we continue, as is not just to be
    expected but a given:

    > Daw's bill initially had sought to expand the authority to any
    > crime, but committee members balked at such broad power last
    > Friday. His amended bill limits the power to suspected felonies
    > and two misdemeanors -- cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment.

    So now it's child-sex crimes + SUSPECTED felonies + 2 misdemeanors.

    In a couple of years, give or take, it'll become standard-operating
    procedure applying at will to *everyone*. And that, ladies and
    gentlemen, is the problem with taking away basic rights from the
    people. It will always get worse, because nobody wants to lose their
    shiny new toys anymore that give you almost god-power over other's.
    Except, of course, you're in Soviet Russia. There Big Brother
    doesn't subpoena your ISP records but the actual user for, uh,
    re-education. A bit more of this stuff above and we'll be there too.

    • by BZ ( 40346 )

      > of course the one, where it's really hard to say no to such a bill.

      Yep. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came [wikipedia.org]... comes to mind.

  • Laws like this /always/ end up being subverted for lots of other purposes. I believe that if people who were found to have subverted it were vigorously prosecuted, then eventually, law enforcement/prosecutors would quit asking for such laws in the first place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jc42 ( 318812 )

      Or we could just make a little list of the bill's supporters, and arrange for the local authorities to get anonymous tips that they're suspected of downloading child porn.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:29AM (#31258388) Homepage

    ..the ability to demand customer information from Internet or cell phone companies via an administrative subpoena, with no judicial review (text of the HB150).

    I don't get it. Isn't Utah the home of a lot of those militant constitutional crusaders? So giving health care coverage to poor people and making people have health insurance to cut out the freeloaders in the health care system is socialism and unconstitutional, but law enforcement reviewing GPS cellphone data and their ISP logs without a warrant is all okay? You want the government out of our lives...unless it's abortion or right to die, then government intervention is okay.

    How do you rationalize positions like that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)


      These are the "Get yer gummint hands off my Medicare!" types. These are the ones who scream all day long about states' rights, and then yell for the federal government to do something when other states legalize medical marijuana or gay marriage.

      And you want rationalization?

    • How do you rationalize positions like that?

      "Those are my personal opinions. Yours may be different."

      That's, roughly speaking, how you do it.

      And you can't really say "But your opinions are wrong!". At best, you can say something like "The policies you advocate go against the constitution", and they can respond "Well, then I guess my opinion is that we should change the constitution."

      You may try arguing that their suggested policy has consequences which (a) they don't know about; and (b) they don't like or agree with. I'm not sure how well it works

      • And you can't really say "But your opinions are wrong!". At best, you can say something like "The policies you advocate go against the constitution", and they can respond "Well, then I guess my opinion is that we should change the constitution."

        One would hope that's what they'd say. Although my experience is that they're probably too impatient for that, so they'll say something about it being a "living document" while thinking "It's just a piece of paper."

      • How do you rationalize positions like that?

        "Those are my personal opinions. Yours may be different."

        That's, roughly speaking, how you do it.

        That's not a rationalization, that's a description. Of course it's an opinion. By rationalization, we'd be looking for a way a person can square these seemingly contradictory opinions. As in, "your opinions on these two similar issues seem to be inconsistent, can you explain that?" Rationalize: "to bring into accord with reason or cause something to seem reasonable."

        Sure a person can hold contradictory opinions, whether or not anyone else agrees or thinks they are "right". But that's not the point. W

    • Easy, both major parties are for Big Government. The difference is just what areas of the government that they want bigger. And, of course, for all their protests, neither party will really try to shrink government too much when they take power. They'll just slow/freeze the growth of the "bad big government" sections and increase the growth of the "good big government" sections. This applies to the states as well as the federal government.

    • by EL_mal0 ( 777947 )

      Not that I agree with the bill, but I suppose I could be considered one of those militant constitutional crusaders from Utah.

      I believe the argument is somewhere along the lines of, "Criminals give up their rights, including the right to keep the state out of their business, when they commit a crime." I doubt you'd find too many people who disagree with this line of reasoning. However, there is that probable cause thing that makes legislation like this confusing to me.

      On the other hand, law abiding citizen

    • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:28AM (#31259702)

      This is the same Utah that is about to pass a law stating that a woman who has a miscarriage "recklessly" is liable to a murder charge [rhrealitycheck.org]. The legislature probably relishes the idea of mandatory pregnancy testing in order to properly enforce the law...

      • If you're a life-begins-at-conception prolifer that law is a necessity.

        But they also need to add murder charges for when a fertilized egg fails to implant itself. The "baby" (fertilized egg) was denied care, protection and nutrition by the mother.

        Chimeras should be charged with murder and cannibalism.

        • If you're a life-begins-at-conception prolifer that law is a necessity.

          Throwing the doctor in prison for performing an abortion, I can vaguely understand. Investigating a woman for murder because she fell down a flight of stairs [desmoinesregister.com] is altogether something else -- and the only reason they didn't prosecute is because she was in the wrong trimester for the law to be in effect. Handmaiden's Tale FTW.

    • In Utah, and among religious conservatives in general when people talk about constitutional rights, they usually are talking about guns, and property rights. Things like the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments are for pro-molester liberal pinko commies.

      Asking for rationality from religious conservative types is simply asking too much. At the very foundation of any religion is the ability of it's adherents to believe in things that are contradicted by science or history. They call it faith. Once you've trai
  • by SimonInOz ( 579741 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:30AM (#31258392)

    Child sex crime is horrible.

    No argument there. I have children. The mere idea indeed, horrifies me.

    But I am dismayed to see such crimes being used as leverage to obtain ever more far-reaching powers.

    There is no question that "all power corrupts". It's not a standard quote for nothing - it is, all too sadly, true.
    I believe that no special powers are needed here - just sensible application of the ones that the already specially privileged police forces already have, is sufficient. I see no realistic problem with getting a search warrant from a judge. Like for searching a house.

    Suspicion indeed - I'd like to feel the police would need a little more than suspicion - suspicion with enough basisi to convince a judge, perhaps? Isn't that what they are for, as a counterbalance to "over zealous" police forces?

    After all, anybody can suspect anybody of anything - with no basis whatsoever. And I don't think that's a good basis for a law. It's more like a license to harass, I'd say. And isn't there already enough of that?

    • "We had reason to suspect him of a child sex crime and/or connections to terrorism, so we got the logs from his ISP, and from what we discovered the original suspicions were unfounded but we did find _x_ which we then charged him with ...."

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:03AM (#31258674) Homepage Journal

      There is no question that "all power corrupts".

      Actually, to my mind there is a question. I don't believe power corrupts, I believe power attracts the corruptible. The fact that there are a few good cops and good politicians kind of illustrates that; but people go for those jobs because they're power hungry.

      • It's probably a bit of both. Powerful positions attract those who would like to use such power. However, if you give someone power they might honestly think they're using it for the common good. They might honestly try to use it wisely, but the temptation will always be there.

        There's a bad guy on the loose and you have this power to pull cell phone records without a judge's ok. You might get approval the first few times, but how long until the urge to catch the bad guy and end his threat becomes too gre

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      It's not just child sex crimes. Dick Cheney leveraged terrorism and 9-11 to achieve two goals that he had been seeking long before anyone had ever heard of Osama Bin Laden--the restoration of pre-Watergate Presidential power and the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      > Child sex crime is horrible.
      > No argument there. I have children. The mere idea indeed, horrifies me.
      > But...

      Why do you have to preface your opinion with this disclaimer? Are you so afraid that any position that doesn't sound like you are "tough on pedophiles" will get you branded as a pedophile yourself?

      This is exactly the attitude that permits politicians and law enforcement to get away with bullying people into handing over their rights. If you don't agree with this law you must be one of the

  • i thought judges issued subpoenas.

  • Atty: Your honor, the suspect is a Morman Fundamentalist.
    Judge: And you have proof of this?
    Atty: He cliams 35 dependants on his state taxes.
    Judge: Subpoena granted.
  • It's obvious you do not need an understanding of history or the constitution to be a politician in Utah.
  • ...only believes in limited government when morality isn't a factor.

  • Politicians hear the words "for the good of the children" and their brains turn off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:56AM (#31258602)

    I agree with H.L. Mencken when he said:
    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."

    And to the AG I say get a real warrant if you suspect someone of committing a crime. If you can't prove that to a judge move on to another case.

  • As your Government, I am in some fashion your parent, meaning you are in some fashion my child. I want to come up with new laws so I can fuck up your rights.

    Therefore, by extension, ALL wiretaps are related to child sex, and therefore all wiretaps should be allowed without a warrant.

    Think of the CHILDREN!

  • They had the temerity to make law enforcement agencies that use this statute write a detailed report on their behavior every year to explain themselves, but did not so much as put anything in there to provide for their prosecution by state agencies if they abuse it. This is the worst kind of transparency as it says to the public, "yes, we know there are violations of the law, we have them right here, nicely documented, but damned if we'll do anything about it."
  • The Utah State Legislature

    ...or, as it's more commonly known, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • bah Utah (Score:3, Funny)

    by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:52PM (#31260906) Journal

    can we please expel Utah from the union?

  • More than one per day? I guess the real question here is why are there so many perverts in Utah?

  • by Ifandbut ( 1328775 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:49PM (#31266002)

    Bradley M. Daw
    District 60
    Party R

    Email: bdaw@utah.gov

    Born: February 7
    Spouse: Laura
    Address: 842 E 280 S, OREM, UT 84097
    Home Phone: Work Phone: Cell Phone: 801-850-3608

    I sent him a e-mail and actually received a response. Here is the text of my e-mails and his replies with edits to remove my personal information.

    Dear Rep. Daw,

    Today I was deeply offended and appalled to see the article in The Deseret News concerning HB0150. This bill is a clear violation of a citizen's Fourth Amendment right to due process. American citizens should not be subjected to warrant-less searches, and that is exactly what HB0150 does. The law first passed last year was restricted to child-sex crimes, now you want to change it to be restricted to felonies, e-stalking and e-harassment (both are misdemeanors).

    What is next, warrant-less searches for supporters of your political opposition? Warrant-less searches of non-Mormons? Can you not see how this law can be abused and the very slippery slope you are on? I thought that republicans were suposed to be opposed to this sort of big government intrusion?

    I urge you to reconsider your support for this bill, both on a moral and constitutional grounds.

    Thank you,
    Ogden, UT


    Citizens are not being subjected to warrantless searches. Citizens aren't being searched at all. All that the subpoena can do is request a phone company or internet service provider to supply the name and address of the account owner of a phone number or IP address. The bill narrowly defines what information can be requested of the business and requires that any subpoena issued has to be put on file with the Commission for Criminal and Juvenile Justice for later review. This is no slippery slope but is, I believe, an appropriate response to anonymity afforded criminals who use the internet and cell phones to commit crime.

    Brad Daw

    Rep. Daw,

    First, I do honestly appreciate that you took the time to reply to me in such a timely manner. When I sent this e-mail I honestly did not expect it to even reach your eyes. Thank you.

    Now, I must respectfully disagree about this not being a slippery slope. First the law was restricted to one of the worst crimes possible, child-sex crimes. Now you are broadening the law to all felonies and two misdemeanors. Originally you wanted this bill to encompass all crimes. If this bill gets passed then it would be a simple matter for someone to come by next year and amend the law to broaden the it more.

    Also, I consider my personal information to be part of me. I consider obtaining this information, including bank records, without judicial review or my consent, to be a violation of my privacy.

    Thank you again for taking the time to read my e-mail and reply to me. Now, I must again urge your to reconsider your support of this bill.



    Bank records is a misreport in the Tribune. The bill allows the AG to obtain the method of payment to the provider, not bank records. Let me walk you through the safeguards that are in place.

    1. Very limited scope of what can be requested on the subpoena.
    2. At least three people in the AGs office have to sign off on it.
    3. A copy of the subpoena must be filed with CCJJ for later audit.
    4. The provider is free to refuse the subpoena at which point it would have to be ajudicated.
    5. This power has been exercised by the federal government for decades with no evidence of abuse.
    6. This power has been exercised by the federal government for decades with no constitutional challenge.
    7. This can only be used for felonies or two specific misdemeanors.
    8. If there is any hint of abuse, ISPs could complain to the legislature and the law would be repealed in one quick hurry and the AG would very well know that.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant