Legislature Flier Against HB150

Representative Brian King, the sole committee vote against HB150, asked me to bullet point the problems with HB150 so he could distribute it in the legislature. This is what I wrote for him. Feel free to refer to this when calling and writing your representatives.


1. It is unconstitutional. The 6th Circuit Court has ruled that lack of a proper warrant and probable cause for the disclosure of email from an Internet Service Provider is unconstitutional. To whit from Warshak v. United States, “facially violates the Fourth Amendment by simple virtue of the fact that it authorizes the seizure of personal e-mails from commercial ISPs without a warrant and on less than a showing of probable cause. “ HB150’s disclosure of IP address and email address of customers without warrant could be considered the same as email disclosure, since an email carries this information regardless of content and is the only place that information can usually be retrieved from.

2. It is ripe for abuse. The Fourth Amendment was written to protect the innocent. Its purpose has been repeatedly demonstrated in the face of overreaching government and those who abuse power. HB150 expands the reach of government.

3. There is no accountability. Under HB150 an Internet Service Provider is required to turn over customer information to law enforcement agencies without judicial oversight. The argument that “new technologies” requires “new techniques” is not an excuse to violate the privacy of law-abiding Americans. HB150 does not require a law enforcement agency to keep copies of their individual subpoenas, only the “number” of supoenas are reported to a third party, the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

4. It is anti-business. Burdensome regulation against Internet Service Providers, making them a wholesale detective arm of law-enforcement is punitive against small ISPs and favors large ISPs with more resources. There are no nationwide ISPs headquartered in Utah and this law will help drive the already struggling small Utah-based ISPs under. Yahoo has already published their price list for violating your personal privacy. Smaller ISPs are more likely to protect your privacy as long as the law stands with them, they don’t have the money to fight a court battle in your favor.

5. The current system works. Internet Service Providers are currently required to respond to proper search warrants, as is any other business or individual. HB150 is a bill in search of a problem, which instead creates a much larger anti-Constitutional violation. Even more concerning, criminal evidence gathered under HB150’s guidelines are subject to “suppression” (exclusion in a court case) due to the lack of proper warrant and may give opportunity for real criminals to walk free.

Thank you! – Pete Ashdown – XMission

9 thoughts on “Legislature Flier Against HB150

  1. I agree with you Pete, and have already written Rep. Aagard a letter to this end. I am getting sick and tired of watching our constitutionally guaranteed protections of our liberties eroded by local, state and federal government. I do not fall into the Democratic or Republican party line, as this bill is starting to. I fancy myself smart enough to see past party lines and recognize when liberty is at risk, and this is one of those times.

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  3. I’ve responded to Mr. Brad Daw, the Senator to put this forward, on this issue. If you are from Orem like I am, please email him at: brad@braddaw.com. His site states that he believes that “liberty is best preserved by limited government intrusion.” This bill flies in the face of the fourth amendment and his own stated beliefs.

    When I put a password on my access to my mail, I have done so because I want an expectation of privacy on my personal papers and effects. It is sad that there was only one dissenting vote in committee on this. Truly our state government institutions are run by individuals that believe the best way to protect the populace is by placing them in cages and treating them like criminals.

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  5. We would catch more criminals if police and prosecutors could search homes and cars without a warrant, as well. Does this mean we should allow it? Maybe we could only allow it if they were a suspected sex offender. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? They are thinking that this law is acceptable because they don’t see the invasion of privacy as vividly.

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  7. Bills like this bring us closer to the day that simply EVERYTHING will have to be encrypted, what a pain. What good will their warrantless search’s do them if they have to break my 2048bit pgp key to see it.

    Not only is this bill a breach of the constitution, but its completely impractical.

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