Privacy LTE - Oct 2019

Brentwood Newsletter LTE about Privacy submitted Oct 2019:

The deadline has passed for submitting bills for the new session. The bill I was most excited about submitting is a Constitutional Amendment to shore up erosion of warrant requirements of searches and seizures in the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution and the 19th Article in the NH Constitution. The problem arose in the 1960-1970s when the Federal Supreme Court ruled the government only needs a warrant for things deemed “private” and then ruled most anything you share with a business (“third party”) is not considered private. This so called “Third-Party Doctrine” has caused a great many lawsuits with many trying to argue about protections from warrantless searches of where you go, who you call and for how long, where you shop and how much you spend, websites you visit, and old email with a scant few being protected. Some states are pushing back on the Federal Government's interpretation of the 4th Amendment and ruling that their state Constitution protects more than the US Constitution does. Unfortunately, NH is not leading that pushback. SB316 is legislation to help protect some of the information currently not (or not fully) protected and was held over in the Senate from 2019 to be worked on. However, protections in statute are much easier to change and the bill doesn’t address other information which you may want to keep confidential or define a new standard for what is protected from warrantless searches. I have proposed a Constitutional Amendment to protect from warrantless searches information which you give on condition that the information only be used for a limited purpose and otherwise the information is to be kept confidential. This should eliminate the vague standard of “expectation of privacy that society is prepared to recognize” for NH and bring us to the forefront of the fight of the erosion of the 4th Amendment perpetrated by the Supreme Court.

Representative Josh Yokela