Dear Californian Readers,
There’s a sneaky little bill out there which represents yet another attempt by the gov’t / law enforcement / who the hell knows, to invade the privacy of US citizens. And I’m peevish.
By the way, if you’re not from CA or down with politics, please change the channel.
First, lemme give you the backstory.
This law is currently in effect. The California Electronic Communication Privacy Act (CalECPA — Cliff Notes here) ensures that all electronic data, wherever it’s stored, is subject to the same set of common-sense rules, like:
- Requiring a warrant for criminal investigations (you know, like the 4th Amendment) and have to provide notice when a search is conducted. Duh.
- Placing limits on retaining, using or disclosing information
- Allowing individuals and companies/services, which have access to sensitive information, to challenge demands
- Setting clear guidelines about actions and consequences
Seems reasonable, right? And did I mention that it had bipartisan support, which is no small feat in this climate.
Last month AB-165 was introduced and if passed, will negate part of CalECPA. Fun facts about this new bill:
- AB 165 would nix CalECPA protections for anyone working “for or on the behalf of” public schools, plus the students
- Kids and teachers could be subject to invasive searches without recourse and yes, that includes digital devices and communication
- Kids could be searched without notice to their parents
- Law enforcement is allowed to conduct criminal investigations without a warrant
- How about restrictions on appropriate use or disclosure of any information that is obtained? Nope!
- Because schools don’t have enough problems, they get to deal with irate parents and staff, plus lawyers and judges. OMG. If I was a school principal, I’d be looking for early retirement.
- And call me a conspiracy nut, but I have to wonder if this bill is a foot in the door toward more unlawful surveillance. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m wrong!
Please to Contact your Rep
As Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Damn right, you electrified patriot!
So I’m contacting my representative to ask that this bill never becomes law. If you’d like to follow suit, I put some info together for you:
11th Congressional District — Richmond
440 Civic Center Plaza 2nd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: (510) 620–1000
12th Congressional District — San Francisco
90 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 556–4862
13th Congressional District — Oakland & East Bay
1301 Clay Street, Ste. 1000-N
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 763–0370
14th Congressional District — San Mateo & San Francisco
155 Bovet Rd
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: (650) 342–0300
15th Congressional District — Castro Valley
3615 Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Phone: (510) 370–3322
17th Congressional District — Santa Clara County
900 Lafayette Street
Santa Clara, CA 95050
18th Congressional District — Palo Alto
698 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, California 94301
Phone: (650) 323–2984
19th Congressional District — San Jose
635 N 1st St B,
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 271–8700
If you made it all the way through this post, my thanks to you. And may the geeks inherit the earth (such as it is!)