Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 09:47:14 -0800
From: KFC <email@example.com>
Organization: Keystone Firearms Coalition
Subject: URGENT ALERT! [Unverified] PA SB 635 a trick! (?)
We have just received a report from one of our Coalition participants that SB 635 -- the wiretap bill that recently was passed by both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, that will become law IF the governor signs it -- was passed in a form even WORSE than its original form, in the opinion of some.
We had been informed that the bill, while still bad, had removed the "roving" wiretap provisions that were many of our main concerns.
According to the report, that WE HAVE YET TO VERIFY, Section 5702 of the bill as finally passed ALLOWS FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS OR OFFICERS OF ANOTHER STATE TO WIRETAP IN PENNSYLVANIA WITHOUT ANY WARRANT AT ALL.
(I am advised that federal officials *already* were under no requirement to obtain a PENNSYLVANIA warrant; however, the "officers of another state" is an expansion of powers.)
In addition, Section 5704 reportedly contains language that permits other wiretaps WITHOUT COURT APPROVAL provided one party to the wiretap agrees in writing to the wiretap.
(We question whether a paid or plea-bargained informant -- in other words, a de facto officer of the state -- could "volunteer" to allow *your* phone to be tapped, while he entraps you into potentially incriminating conversation.)
We are passing this UNVERIFIED information along because, if it is even partially true, we MUST begin a campaign IMMEDIATELY to demand that Governor Ridge veto it.
PLEASE verify the above information for yourselves.
Ask your state senator or state representative for a copy of SB 635, Printer's No. 1659. (It is about 75 pages, we are told.)
We have received some opinions that the cited provisions merely codify or slightly enhance powers that law enforcment officials already were practicing anyway. Nevertheless, as laymen we are *shocked* to learn that such practices were being carried out, and that our courts were looking the other way!
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