Senate panel weighs electronic privacy protection

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | 7:18 a.m. CST; updated 5:24 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 28, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri Senate committee is considering whether to extend constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure to electronics.

Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph Republican, said Monday the Missouri Constitution needs to be updated to reflect technological changes during the last century. Missouri's current constitution was drafted in 1945.

Schaaf's bill would add "electronic communications and data" to persons, effects, homes and papers as items protected against illegal searches. Schaaf says he introduced the proposed constitutional amendment after learning about the National Security Agency's data collecting practices.

No one testified against the measure at a hearing Monday. If passed by the legislature, the proposed amendment would go on the statewide ballot in November.

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