Liberal-flavored site Burnt Orange Report sheds some light on a Texas bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans in the House that gives law enforcement in the state broad powers to look at private Internet data without much justification.
The bill was sponsored by Texas Republican Reps. John Frullo, Allen Fletcher, and John Carona; and Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson. House Bill 2268 is described as follows:
"Relating to search warrants issued in this state and other states for certain customer data, communications, and other related information held in electronic storage in this state and other states by providers of electronic communications services and remote computing services."
Basically the bill gives law enforcement in the state the ability to compel ISPs within and outside the state to hand over online communications in 4-30 days after securing a search warrant from a court. The criteria for securing a warrant is so broad that it makes it fairly easy for a police officer to get one too:
"An application made under this subsection must demonstrate probable cause for the issuance of the warrant and must be supported by the oath or affirmation of the authorized peace officer," the bill reads.
And what kind of data might a law enforcement officer be able to collect after securing a warrant? Facebook post, instant messages, emails, etc.
The bill passed the House without any opposition at all on May 7. After a vote in the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee, it is expected to move to a full Senate vote. The Legislative Session ends on May 27 so this bill will likely be fast-tracked before citizens in the state knows what hit them.
You can learn more about the bill here.
Source: Burnt Orange Report