Freshman TX State Rep Passes First-in-Nation Email Privacy Bill with Help from a Ron Paul SupporterSubmitted by RobHino on Thu, 07/04/2013 - 15:45
by Sky Chadde | Tue July 2, 2013 7:00 am | Texas Monthly
Jonathan Stickland Knows He’s “That Guy”
Freshmen, per Texas tradition, should be seen and not heard—unless they're passing a first-in-the-nation email privacy measure.
Who’d have thought a tea party freshman who dropped out of high school would become a media sensation? Representative Jonathan Stickland, a Republican from Bedford—who later got his GED—wasn’t even considering a political career until he received a late-night email from the president of his local tea party group, according to the Austin American-Statesman...
...The amendment, which started as a bill Stickland introduced but went nowhere (as is not uncommon in the Texas lege) closes a loophole in the 1986 Electronics Communication Privacy Act that states law enforcement officers can view opened email without a warrant and can view unopened email six months after it was sent without a warrant. Now that Governor Rick Perry has signed the bill into law , Texas cops and investigators need to file search warrants in order to access all emails, regardless of age...
...Not bad for a freshman, even if Stickland did subvert the Lege’s longstanding tradition that freshmen should be seen and not heard. So, just how did he become the face of a state bill with national recognition? Last month, he sat down with Texas Monthly to explain. This interview has been edited and abridged for clarity.
Texas Monthly: How did this amendment get started?
Jonathan Stickland: It was a bill that we originally filed. We filed a lot of little bills that were niches--clean-up language and stuff like that. We knew we weren’t going to get any landmark legislation through, so we were trying to find a little niche. There was one report that came out, at the end of last year, that said something about this. It was some email thing, but it was on the federal level. That’s how we found out and started looking into it. And we were like, “Hmm, this is strange.”
So it was on our wish list, and then a Ron Paul-er came in here and said, Hey, have you heard about this? And we kind of commissioned him to start looking into it, and then we came up with the bill and filed it.
TM: Do you think we have a constitutional right to privacy?
JS: I think we do...
Continue Reading: http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/jonathan-stickland-knows-h...
I'm trying to find out who the "Ron Paul-er" is!