Utah Considering Expansion of Warrantless Internet Subpoenas

According to Slashdot, the state already passed a bill allowing the AG to subpoena ISP or cell carrier customer information under very specific circumstances, namely when dealing with suspicion of a child-sex crime. Now it is contemplating a new bill that would expand this power that bypasses proper judicial oversight.

The expansion definitely is suspect and I hope either it is defeated in the state legislature or, if it should pass on the momentum of its predecessor law, it faces a stiff challenge on a constitutional basis. It seems to me that there should remain a burden on law enforcers, even when dealing with truly deplorable harms to children, to build suspicion into probable cause and secure a warrant. What is the rational here, really?

The sole saving grace is that committee members reviewing the bill balked at a blanket expansion and have pushed back the scope to just suspected felonies and two specific online misdemeanors–cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. Lowering the bar to mere suspicion, even with these limits, inflames my 4th Amendment lobe something fierce.

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