Amendment to protect your emails and texts from unlawful searches

The Fourth Amendment already protects against unreasonable search and seizure, but some Minnesota lawmakers would like to see the state's constitution amended to protect electronic communications and data.

The idea, which has bipartisan support, would require law enforcement agencies to get a warrant if they wanted to look through your emails or other electronic communications. Currently, police can take your cell phone, dump all your contents and use that information to build a case against you.

Even if voters changed the state constitution, it couldn't stop the NSA from collecting information illegally, but this it would bar state agents from engaging in illegal surveillance,

Earlier this month, the bill cleared the House civil law committee, but it still needs to make it through the Senate judiciary committee.

The language of the constitutional amendment to protect electronic data privacy is very similar to a measure passed in Missouri last year. If approved, the question would go before Minnesota voters in 2016.

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