Missouri’s Bill 666 May Be A Deal With The Devil – Or Is It?
September 24, 2022
Missouri’s Bill 666 has been the subject of political and religious debate since it was passed in February. The bill passed the state house with very little controversy, but when it reached the Senate, there was a fierce debate before it passed in April.
This kind of controversy comes as no surprise to anyone who follows politics or religion, but what was surprising about this bill?
The answer will surprise you! The content of the bill itself isn’t all that controversial, but how it came to be may shock you! What does Satan have to do with this political debate? Learn more about Missouri’s Bill 666 right here!
How did we get here?
The fight against the e-cig regulations in Missouri has been largely a two-front war, but now the public health advocates fighting for it are being seen as doing more harm than good. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
there has been a significant rise in cases of lung and bronchial diseases nationwide this year—namely asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and acute respiratory infection (ARI).
Both COPD and ARI are linked to e-cig usage by their patients. E-cigs have also contributed to an increase in deaths. And these numbers have caused public health experts in Missouri to be proactive about limiting the introduction of e-cigs into society.
What are Stored Communications Act (SCA) warrants and how do they relate to the Fourth Amendment?
These warrants do not apply to content but instead apply to the Missouri customer’s call metadata. Essentially, when the government goes before a judge, they need only prove there is reasonable suspicion and then the provider will be forced to turn over any information that
was requested. This can include things like the phone number, duration of the call, and location data at which the device was activated.
Unlike with a normal warrant, no one ever knows that this information has been turned over until it has already happened because SCA warrants are not required to be disclosed.
How would a police officer execute an SCA warrant with access to my phone over MY objection as a user of the device?
When the police arrive to execute a search warrant with probable cause, they must ask the person in possession of the device if they will grant them access to it.
If they refuse, then the police officer must follow different procedures than what they might otherwise have. If you allow access, then the officer can go through your phone without further incident.
However, if you refuse, this is when things get tricky because under SCA or Section 2703(c) as it reads in U.S.C., at that point,
officers are allowed to compel you to unlock your phone so long as Missouri there is probable cause for a search warrant and there is reason to believe that by doing so you will help them find evidence in their pursuit of an investigation into a suspected crime.
What if it comes down to choosing between turning over my information or facing criminal charges? What then?
It is a scary reality when I might have to choose between turning over my information and facing criminal charges.
Knowing that there is currently no protection from the government to protect me should be enough to make anyone pause before giving up such sensitive information for Missouri something as simple as connecting the state sales tax returns with individual tax returns. Not only does it expose personal records, but those details can then be used against us by the government for arrest or criminal charges.
There need to be better protections for people like me to keep our identities safe so we do not feel like we are being forced into this dilemma every time there is a new order.
If there was an emergency, such as an active shooter, would the police have the right to break into your home without permission, even if you weren’t present, to get information on your electronic devices?
Senate bill 666 states that if a peace officer has probable cause and is unable to enter your home, they can still retrieve information stored in your devices.
This includes accessing the device, recovering data from the device, and copying any information found on the device. Additionally,
if a peace officer requests that a third party give them access to your phone, this also constitutes probable cause. But how much authority do police officers have when breaking into an individual’s home without permission and obtaining electronic information?
Senate bill 1243 prohibits law enforcement from searching for media or messages about social networking without first obtaining a warrant. This means that the police would not be able to use Missouri Senate bill 666 in emergencies like active shooters.
Bill 666 could pass. Here’s what can be done about it.
We’ve all been down this road before. The passage of legislation that would make Missouri the first state in the nation to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with lethal doses of drugs, known as Death with Dignity or Bill 66.
This bill will most likely be sent to Governor Jay Nixon and then, if he signs it into law, it could create a ripple effect not only through the state but also nationally and internationally.
However, opponents argue that it may lead to earlier requests for assisted suicide in future cases due to questionable provisions in the bill such as a requirement that two physicians diagnose a patient with six months or less left to live.
3 Ways to Defeat Missouri’s Dangerous New Electronic Device Search Warrant Bill 666
Some lawmakers believe that these new warrants allow law enforcement to overstep their boundaries and violate Missourians’ constitutional rights. Thankfully, there are three ways that opponents of the bill can defeat it: by an override of Governor Greitens’ veto;
by killing the proposed bill outright in the legislature or at Missouri least 40 days before it would take effect; or by enacting a ballot measure during November’s general election which will mandate a warrantless search only in exigent circumstances.
That being said, there are ways to stop bill 666 from becoming law. One of these methods involves an override of Governor Greitens’ veto. For opponents to accomplish an override, however, they must get two-thirds of both houses in agreement within 45 days after Greitens issues his veto (which is April 17).
If enough lawmakers agree that it is a bad idea that they vote yes on overriding it, then they will have halted its progress toward passage. Furthermore
, opponents can also defeat the bill by winning their case in court against it or by enacting a ballot measure during November’s general election which will mandate a warrantless search only in exigent circumstances.
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