Now that the Massachusetts Senate has finished its omnibus criminal justice reform package, the Massachusetts House is working on its version (H. 4011). While we convinced the Senate to oppose the wiretap amendments, 22 to 14, now the House will have a go. Three amendments (#53, #115 and #174) would give prosecutors unprecedented new powers to wiretap phone calls, emails, instant messaging services, and other electronic devices.
However, these bills would also expand who could be wiretapped. As Restore the 4th Massachusetts noted:
Amendments #53 and #174 are especially pernicious, in expanding wiretaps to cover interceptions enabled by “pen register” orders; this could greatly expand ordinary people’s vulnerability to surveillance just by communicating with someone whose communications are considered relevant to a crime.
The House is debating these amendments today and tomorrow with votes likely by Wednesday. Now is the time to tell our State Representatives to oppose these amendments. Calls are best, but emails help too, if there are enough of them. You can find your representative’s contact info at https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator.