On the digital privacy front, Texans for Accountable Government stood with the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition, to testify in support of HB2263, which would require local and state law enforcement to get a probable cause warrant for cell phone geo-location tracking. The first four testimonies were from our coalition, the second four included DPS and law enforcement officers. It’s completely worth watching them attempt to make a case against this bill. At the end of their testimony, Matt Simpson, of the ACLU, essentially cleaned up and demonstrated why their concerns were essentially irrelevant.
Texans for Accountable Government
Testimony of Justin Arman, Ex. Dir. of Texans for Accountable Government
IN SUPPORT of HB 2263,
Before the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 8th, 2015
Texans for Accountable Government supports HB2263 because this bill encompasses many of the principles we stand for — limited government, accountability, transparency, and protection from government overreach. We cannot have liberty without privacy. Our privacy is sacred, and we wanted to extend our gratitude to Representative Hughes for authoring this bill and goodwill to the several members of this committee for co-authoring. I can tell you truly care about protecting your constituents.
Currently the law offers no protections for people with wireless devices who are being subjected to surveillance technology without their knowledge. The egregious surveillance programs on the federal level are common knowledge now, however there is something this legislature can do to protect its citizens at home.
We strongly believe the law must be updated to include new technologies so people’s privacy rights — their Fourth Amendment rights — are protected. We must have some kind of open and transparent oversight involved; a warrant with probable cause issued by a judge is an important and necessary standard that must be applied to new technologies. The reporting requirements in this bill also offers transparency and accountability.
The framers knew the sanctity of privacy, however they could not have conceived of a digital age.
HB2263 is a rational and much needed solution.
With gratitude for your consideration.