Tenth Amendment Center: To the Governor: Montana Passes Bill to Ban Warrantless Collection of Electronic Data by Mike Maharrey:
HELENA, Mont. (April 3, 2017) – On Saturday, the Montana House gave final approval to a bill that would ban warrantless collection of data from an electronic device in most situations. If signed by Gov. Steve Bullock, the legislation would not only increase privacy protections in the state, it would also hinder one practical aspect of federal surveillance programs.
Rep. Daniel Zolnikov sponsors Bill 147 (HB147). The legislation would prohibit any state or local government unit from obtaining the stored data of an electronic device without a warrant, unless it has the consent of the owner or authorized user of the device, or in accordance with judicially recognized exceptions to warrant requirements. The proposed law would also allow police to access electronic data if the owner has already made the stored data public, or if there exists a possible life-threatening situation.
This bill really doesn’t seem to add anything that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t already require.