Michigan lawmakers move to protect private information

Michigan lawmakers move to protect private information. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

State lawmakers are raising their eyebrows as the U.S. Congress debates warrantless wiretapping and local lawmakers are now taking measures to protect the privacy of people in Michigan.

Political Reporter Nick Minock reports on what several lawmakers in Lansing are doing to protect private information.

Lawmakers are expecting a vote on House bill 4430 as early as Tuesday, Dec. 16.

The two-page bill, sponsored by Democrats and Republicans, would prohibit the state of Michigan from assisting a federal agency like the FBI in obtaining private data without a warrant.

Republican State Representative Pete Lucido believes it is wrong for the federal government to wiretap without a warrant.

Gone are the days of only keeping highly sensitive data in filing cabinets. Much of that date lives in computers and cell phones, which is something some state lawmakers want to protect.

HB 4430 states a matter of the Fourth Amendment.

Lucido said, "If you are going to allow them tap into your cell phone and start looking at your contacts and start looking at your emails, start looking at your text messages, you're violating the Fourth Amendment."

He says the state turns over its data for facial recognition to the FBI and that is unfair.

State Senator Rick Jones, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Chairman, agrees with what Congress is doing with reauthorizing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Jones said, "If we have foreign nationals here possibly spying I certainly, the FBI tracks them down and does tap them."

As the debate on warrantless wiretapping heats up on capitol hill, state lawmakers and the state's ag are taking a look at adjusting state statute.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said, "I will have to take a look the legislation the representative is introducing and see what happens so stay tuned with that."

The legislation is likely going to a vote on the state house. If it passes, it will go to the senate for consideration.

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