To Republican and Democrat State Delegates

I am sending the following letter to as many Republican and Democrat State delegates that I can find.

    During this last legislative session, I was a vocal opponent to House Bill 150, “Administrative Subpoena Amendments”. This bill expanded an already unconstitutional practice of bypassing a warrant when demanding customer information from an Internet Service Provider. I do not believe that the founding fathers did not care about crimes against children, nor deem that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution was overly broad and needed to be disregarded in case of new technologies. As the president of XMission Internet, I have personally responded to hundreds of warrants in a professional and expedient fashion. As a citizen of this country it is my duty to respect law enforcement’s requests when they properly follow the Constitution. If I didn’t respond to a warrant, then I am committing a crime in itself.

    My customer information is part of my papers and effects, protected by the Fourth Amendment. If I was a gunsmith in revolutionary America, a list of my customers would provide a lot of valuable information to the British. Under HB150, all you need to do is make a threat against the government on the Internet, and suddenly you are suspected of cyberstalking. Your Internet identity is laid bare for any individual in law-enforcement to uncover, without the oversight of a third-party judge. New technologies require us to respect the Constitution more, not less. Administrative Subpoena proponents in the Attorney General’s office believe that lack of a warrant for customer data is not unconstitutional because it has been ruled so by a variety of court opinions. The legislature exists to affirm and uphold the Constitution and not the courts. The AG’s justification for passing HB150 is precisely the opposite.

    Protecting our children is always a top priority. But under HB150, criminals may have the ability to walk free when evidence is uncovered without a proper warrant. Is this really how we want law-enforcement operating? Haphazardly, without the necessary approval of a judge? The best way we can prosecute criminals is by following the letter of the Utah and U.S Constitutions.

    I wrote much about HB150 while it was being rammed through the legislature by the Attorney General’s office and the bill’s sponsors. I ask that you read my criticisms while considering your vote for these individuals and the governor who signed it into law.

    Thank You,

    Pete Ashdown

Here is a list of the sponsors and “yes” votes for HB150.

    Representative Bradley M. Daw
    Representative Jackie Biskupski
    Senator Margaret Dayton
    Governor Gary Herbert

    Representative Douglas C. Aagard, Representative Sheryl L. Allen, Representative Johnny Anderson, Representative Roger E. Barrus, Representative Jim Bird, Representative Melvin R. Brown, Representative Brad L. Dee, Representative John Dougall, Representative Jack R. Draxler, Representative Rebecca P. Edwards, Representative Ben C. Ferry, Representative Janice M. Fisher, Representative Julie Fisher, Representative Lorie D. Fowlke, Representative Craig A. Frank, Representative Gage Froerer, Representative Kerry W. Gibson, Representative James R. Gowans, Representative Richard A. Greenwood, Representative Keith Grover, Representative Christopher N. Herrod, Representative Gregory H. Hughes, Representative Fred R. Hunsaker, Representative Don L. Ipson, Representative Christine A. Johnson, Representative David Litvack, Representative Rebecca D. Lockhart, Representative Steven R. Mascaro, Representative Kay L. McIff, Representative Ronda Rudd Menlove, Representative Carol Spackman Moss, Representative Merlynn T. Newbold, Representative Michael E. Noel, Representative Curtis Oda, Representative Patrick Painter, Representative Kraig Powell, Representative Paul Ray, Representative Phil Riesen, Representative Jennifer M. Seelig, Representative Kenneth W. Sumsion, Representative Evan J. Vickers, Representative Brent C. Wallis, Representative Christine F. Watkins, Representative Curt R. Webb, Representative Ryan D. Wilcox, Representative David Clark

    Senator Stuart Adams, Senator Curtis S. Bramble, Senator D. Chris Buttars, Senator Allen M. Christensen, Senator Jon J. Greiner, Senator Lyle W. Hillyard, Senator David P. Hinkins, Senator Scott K. Jenkins, Senator Patricia W. Jones, Senator Peter C. Knudson, Senator Daniel R. Liljenquist, Senator Karen W. Morgan, Senator Wayne Niederhauser, Senator Ralph Okerlund, Senator Jerry W. Stevenson, Senator Dennis E. Stowell, Senator John L. Valentine, Senator Michael G. Waddoups

10 thoughts on “To Republican and Democrat State Delegates

  1. As a libertarian, I’m offended that so many in places of power and trust would want to empower the government to side step the U.S. Constitution for ANY reason. Bills like HB150 make me worry that one day soon we may see a less science fiction version of Judge Dredd become reality. The goal of subpoenas is to ensure that we do not allow any agency of the government to have too much control. Allowing police departments to skirt the justice system is no less of a crime than to allow congress to side step the judicial system.

    Our system was founded on laws, principles by which we as Americans hold dear. Our most basic of founding American values is held in the first 10 amendments, The Bill Of Rights, to which you as American legislators made an oath to uphold and protect. By signing such a bill you’ve done more than insult those who’ve come before you. You insulted our founding fathers, and insulted every man woman and child who’s sacrificed in any way during our revolutionary war. Have you no shame?

  2. Pingback: The Utah Legislature Supports the 10th Amendment but not the 4th | eransworld

  3. I find it hilariously ironic that you’re anonymously responding with a defense. If only I could issue an administrative subpoena to find out who my detractors were. Maybe I’ll talk to a court clerk across the street. No wait… I support your right to be anonymous on the Internet and don’t automatically assume or insinuate you are a criminal.

    Your document supports the fact that it is unconstitutional.

    1. Utah code 77-22-2.5 eliminated the constitutional demand for warrants.
    2. Warrants have been used before and continue to be used by other states requesting the same information from Internet Service Providers.
    3. Your document states that judges, clerks, and individual attorneys can issue subpoenas. The problem is they can issue them INDEPENDENT of any third party oversight, like what a warrant requires.
    4. “We need to give law enforcement the ability to obtain an Administrative Subpoena quickly” “the provider may choose to quash the subpoena which results in the AG or law enforcement agency having to go to court to prove a reasonable cause for the subpoena” – So you need information quickly, but the ISP can challenge your non-warranted request in court. Sounds like you need a warrant.

  4. Hi Pete,

    I too support our constitutional rights! It is good to know that people still claim this on both sides of the party lines! We do not all have to agree on how, but at least we agree on the importance of the constitution.

    One of the necessities of the Federal Government is to “provide for the common defence.” In carrying out this duty there will ALWAYS be rights given up by citizens. You can not protect citizens, and and the same time leave everybody free. Having said that I do not like to step too far in the direction of governmental intrusion into our privacy. HOWEVER, privacy is not ever mentioned in the constitution. I agree with you as far as saying that we need to be carefull.

    I think that your post here, and others have been a little misleading. I have not been able to find more than 1 subpoena that you have been served, yet you say hundreds ( I assume that you meant subpoena, not warrant, as warrants are not used for what you are referring to.) I do not believe that you have responded to hundreds. Maybe you meant to say that you are concerned that if the government steps too far in this direction, someday you could be faced with hundreds? If we are going to talk about politics, and opinion, lets keep it honest so that all parties concerned have an accurate view of the real issues.

    — Off Topic —
    ps… Please get video streams (i.e. TV) to us through UTOPIA in Utah county! Bountiful does not deserve to be the only privilidiged ones!!! lol…

  5. I’ve responded to hundreds of warrants over the past 16 years. Yes, they are used to request information.

    According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s reporting, the AG has stated they have issued 200 subpoenas since this became law in 2009.

    Privacy may not be directly mentioned in the Constitution, but my papers and effects are. Do you agree that my customer information is amongst my papers and effects?

    As for IPTV, we’re working on it!

  6. Pete,

    Can you also publish the list of those who voted against it? That was a tough one to vote on (because of how it was portrayed versus the actual consequences) and it took some courage to vote against it.

  7. Hey Pete, AG Mark Shurtleff committed to go on KVNU FTP radio show next Thursday:

    I was wondering if you could call in and talk about HB 150 with him? I listened to his interview with Doug Wright before the vote, and in my opinion, misrepresented it. I’d really love to hear someone front him on this issue, especially while he is grandstanding on the health care issue. I’ve yet to hear him debate this with someone who understands what the bill really means.

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