Tea Party Republicans and 'liberal weenies' alike celebrate Texas email privacy law

By on June 18, 2013, 11:30 AM

Texas is now the first state to require a warrant for all email surveillance and data collection. Governor Rick Perry signed the new privacy bill into law on June 14, which took effect immediately. Texans now enjoy more electronic privacy for their inboxes than any other state.

The bill, HB 2268, enacts a law shielding Texas residents from state and local law enforcement snooping without a warrant. The email privacy portion of the bill was authored by 29-year-old freshman Republican legislator Jonathan Stickland, who represents an area between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Under current federal law, law enforcement agencies are only required to have a warrant to access communications that haven’t yet been opened by the recipient. Once the email is opened, or if it has sat in an inbox for 180 days, it is fair game.

Texas’s Star Telegram reports that the amendment sets a national precedent for email privacy. Let’s hope that this is true and other states follow suit. In March 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice recognized that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was out of date. These are all signs that the conversation is headed in the right direction.

The Star Telegram praised Stickland for his contribution to the bill, and suggested that he is fighting for ideals that all Americans can get behind. “Despite the many differences between Tea Party Republicans like Stickland and the most liberal weenies you might find in Austin, there also tend to be some similarities,” reports the Telegram.




User Comments: 20

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Guest said:

Until a user will not have capacity to know if someone is intercepting (which is hard to do) his "digital life" those laws won't do much...

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

Good idea. After you've got them drunk you can try selling them a bit of smack on the side. They will have forgotten by then why they came knocking on your door in the first place.

1 person liked this | Lurker101 said:

My head's still spinning from Perry doing something not stupid.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Thank god for Texas. While other states(and the federal government) pass laws in defiance of civil liberties, Texas passes new laws to protect them. This may not be the greatest privacy bill ever signed into law, but it is a clear example of the ideology of the state legislator. Right to privacy, and protection for an overpowered overstepping government.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

Its not about hiding something. Its about right to privacy! I love how people use the "I have nothing to hide" argument as if that means anything to a big brother government.

Lets say you do invite these police officers into your home for a drink. And none of the right to privacy, search and seizure, and warrant laws exist. They insist that they got an "anonymous tip" that there are drugs in your home. So they proceed to go through your house turning out your cabinets,closets, and drawers and don't find anything. Then two weeks later, they come back again with another "anonymous tip" saying that there may be drugs in your vehicle. So now they seize your vehicle to be thoroughly searched back at the police station. Then, after they find nothing and bring your car back a few days later, they take your phone,computers, and laptops to further the investigation. These police officers then come back weekly disrupting your daily life and finally admit they these searches will not stop until you admit to at leased a minor possession charge.

These laws are meant to protect you from practices like this! How many rights are you willing to give up for "protection"? And who will protect you from the government you trust so much once you are stripped of these rights?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its not about hiding something. Its about right to privacy! I love how people use the "I have nothing to hide" argument as if that means anything to a big brother government.
Not only that; if the government has nothing to hide, why do they? Life is a two way road. In other words if they show me theirs, I'll be happy to show them mine.

Guest said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

The problem is that what constitutes being a criminal is constantly in flux. We've got so many laws on the books that most of us are breaking a law in some way or another. The police may come knocking on your door looking for drugs, but once you let them in, anything they find illegal is subject to prosecution...even if you had no clue it was illegal.

Leave that spam link to child porn in your inbox too long and you'll be spending that beer money on lawyers.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Super! Now as long as the email recipients and their ISP's servers are all in Texas, then all is well.

spencer spencer said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

HELLO how many times do I have 2 tell you;I've told you 3 TIMES!

MilwaukeeMike said:

Super! Now as long as the email recipients and their ISP's servers are all in Texas, then all is well.

Yeah, notice the fine print says 'State and Local law enforcement' We don't have any issues with them at the moment, it's the Feds we're worried about.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Correction: I have a problem with all of them, but then a single topic couldn't cover them all. So for the moment, this issue is the topic.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Ok. It could get ugly if they have total freedom to come to my house when ever they want, but what about e-mails. What could I possibly want to keep private?

Guest said:

Littleczr said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

The Sociopaths in government love that way of thinking and the 80% that thinks like that. Nothing to hide is irrelevant and besides the point. That mindset cater to those who feel the bill of rights is just black ink on white paper.

1 person liked this | matrix86 matrix86 said:

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

My brother works in law enforcement, and is active in telling people to never let law enforcement search your car or house without a warrant. In his years of service, he knows of all the dirty cops out there who plant drugs during searches. He says it's a rare thing, but because it happens, he strongly urges people to say no to warrant-less searches. Sure, it makes you look suspicious, but it also protects you.

Hasbean said:

Oh great, now all the Aaaaarabs will be setting up cell parties all over Texas, launching gas attacks and all that stuff they get up to because they hate our freedum.

God bless Amerikkka.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh great, now all the Aaaaarabs will be setting up cell parties all over Texas, launching gas attacks and all that stuff they get up to because they hate our freedum.

God bless Amerikkka.

And we'll help them! You want to learn how to fly a jetliner? You don't need to learn how to land? No problem! We don't need to know your race, creed, or national origin, as long as your money is green. We don't care what happens after you leave.

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

Really though, wouldn't it be better if those mutts were off doing their f***ing jobs and searching some place that actually needed to be searched?

I mean really, inviting them search to someplace with nothing illegal in it, is just a bold faced waste of the taxpayer's money.

They don't actually do as much as they could now, why on earth would we need you to slow them down any more?

Guest said:

I mean really, inviting them search to someplace with nothing illegal in it, is just a bold faced waste of the taxpayer's money.

They don't actually do as much as they could now, why on earth would we need you to slow them down any more?

Police officers don't search houses because its fun. It is in fact their job. And they have to ask a judge for a warrant with very good probable cause before they can do so. Police officers get denied search warrants all they time. know your rights, be respectful, and you usually wont have any problems.

Now sitting on the side of a highway at 7AM, catching people going 5mph over the speed limit on their way to work...is a different story. Serve and protect right?

abysal abysal said:

Why would I care if my government reads my e-mails? Unless I am a criminal!

Same thing if police comes knocking at my door and they want to search for drugs. If I got nothing to hide I got nothing to fear. I would offer police a drink and offer them stay to watch games 6 of the NBA finals.

Its not about hiding something. Its about right to privacy! I love how people use the "I have nothing to hide" argument as if that means anything to a big brother government.

Lets say you do invite these police officers into your home for a drink. And none of the right to privacy, search and seizure, and warrant laws exist. They insist that they got an "anonymous tip" that there are drugs in your home. So they proceed to go through your house turning out your cabinets,closets, and drawers and don't find anything. Then two weeks later, they come back again with another "anonymous tip" saying that there may be drugs in your vehicle. So now they seize your vehicle to be thoroughly searched back at the police station. Then, after they find nothing and bring your car back a few days later, they take your phone,computers, and laptops to further the investigation. These police officers then come back weekly disrupting your daily life and finally admit they these searches will not stop until you admit to at leased a minor possession charge.

These laws are meant to protect you from practices like this! How many rights are you willing to give up for "protection"? And who will protect you from the government you trust so much once you are stripped of these rights?

People are sheep; what do you expect?

Guest said:

People like you are the problem, because such statement show you are completely oblivious to how police can use there electronic search power for corruption.

For example, the government reads your email if your there political enemy. Our country allows people to be political enemies without being "defined as criminals". On that note there is plenty of reason to be concerned if the gov. Is reading your email.

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