From: harry schneider

If you like Big Brother You'll Love Pennsylvania's New Wiretap Law By the PSA Pennsylvania Sportsmen's Assn., Inc. and ACSL Allegheny County Sportsmen's League

Soon the Pennsylvania Senate will consider passage of Rep. J. Scott Chadwick's wiretapping bill which passed the House 137-61 on 9/23/97. (SB 635 printers numbers 667 and 1307). The bill will allow police wiretaps to follow a person from phone to phone instead of asking a judge's permission to tap specific phone numbers. Current law allows wiretapping for 41 offenses. The bill adds 10 more offenses, including carrying a pistol in another state with a Pennsylvania Permit that is not honored by that other state.

For the first time ever, your home, business or gun club can be legally wiretapped without a court order if you are visited by a friend, client or guest who's home or business is wiretapped. Sec 5712

For the first time ever, the judge may be notified that you were wiretapped after the tap is terminated instead of the "old fashioned" method of the judge authorizing a tap on your phone before it is begun. Sec 5712

For the first time ever, you can be legally wiretapped if you are suspected of carrying a pistol without a license. Sec 5708 (the PSA & ACSL don't recommend the practice of carrying without a permit, but the originators of our Pennsylvania Constitution intended just that when they wrote "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.")

For the first time ever, even if you have a Pennsylvania Pistol Permit, you can be legally wiretapped in Pennsylvania by other states if you are suspected of planning a trip to that other state and carrying your pistol for personal protection. Many Pennsylvanians frequently visit Maryland, New York, Ohio and New Jersey and carry a pistol for protection just like they do in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, no contiguous state honors a Pennsylvania permit and they will put you in jail. Instead of getting us reciprocity (just like drivers licenses), your elected officials have voted to make it easier for those other states to catch you and take away your right to own any gun for the rest of your life. See Section 5708 and Sec 5702 For the first time ever this bill grants the United States, every other state, DC and Puerto Rico the ability to obtain wiretaps in Pennsylvania. At minimum, this bill must be amended so that no foreign jurisdiction may obtain a wiretap in Pennsylvania for any reason unless that foreign jurisdiction honors the right of Pennsylvania Pistol Permit holders and Pennsylvania Policemen and Sheriff's to carry in their jurisdiction. If we are going to let others wiretap in Pennsylvania, and we shouldn't - at least lets give em an incentive to do what they should be doing under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution.

For the first time ever, your "on line" computer or phone answering machine can be entered, searched and drained of information by virtue of a wiretap (instead of an old fashioned search warrant). Sec 5702

For the first time ever, computer owners can be wiretapped if you are suspected of surfing the net and viewing information that the Government doesn't want you to have. Sec 5708

For the first time ever, the standard of evidence for police to get a wiretap will be lower than the standard of evidence imposed on the private citizen who seeks a court order forcing disclosure about a tap. Compare Sec 5709 with Sec 5743. The "specific and articulable facts" standard is now imposed on the citizen who seeks disclosure, but not on the police and prosecutors when they seek a tap. If you somehow find out that you were wiretapped illegally Sec 5747 provides that "good faith" is "a complete defense to any civil or criminal action". This complete immunity is extended to police and prosecutors of the United States and every other state and their political subdivisions and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Sec 5702 and Sec 5747.

Sec 5710 Granting of Order to Wiretap: Where is the requirement that there be probable cause supported by specific and articulable facts that a crime has been committed?

Sec 5704: Why does it state: "including, but not limited to, the crimes enumerated in section 5708"? Doesn't this expand this coverage to all crimes listed in the Uniform Firearms Act such as the Sarah Brady endorsed Act 17 of 1995?

Sec 5721.1 Why does this new section fail to provide adequate practical protections to citizens? Why weren't citizens provided broader protection than the motion to exclude in proposed subsection (b)(1)?

Home | Quiz | Results | FAQ | Articles | Free Info | Software | Links | About | Quill | Libertarian.Org