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Missouri Voters Face Electronic Privacy Issue

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- One of five amendments to be decided on by Missouri voters Tuesday would extend protections against unreasonable searches and seizures to all electronic communication and data.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- One of five amendments to be decided on by Missouri voters Tuesday would extend protections against unreasonable searches and seizures to all electronic communication and data.

"You just have to be at least as good as what's in the U.S. Constitution," Springfield Sen. Bob Dixon (R) said.

Dixon said a recent Supreme Court decision that upheld privacy protections against police cellphone searches reaffirms the measure.

"It puts them on course with case law to affirm the spirit in which it the legislature offered this measure to the people," Dixon said.

Voter Guide: Five Measures To Mull

The measure would require officials to have a warrant before seizing any "electronic data."

"Anytime you have varying language then you have opportunity for different interpretations. It could be argued the Missouri language is more broad," Lawyer Will Worsham said.

Few laws pertain to electronic media specifically, but electronic communication is a growing part of courtroom proceedings.

"We deal with a lot of cyber crime now and depending on how that's interpreted, that could extend beyond specifically your devices but to your entire digital collection even in the cloud.


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