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Forum News Service, Published February 24 2014

Legislator to introduce mobile phone protection bill

ST. PAUL - A bill to be introduced when the Minnesota Legislature opens at noon Tuesday would require government agencies, including law enforcement organizations, to obtain search warrants before accessing the location of electronic devices such as mobile telephones.

“Nearly every Minnesotan carries some mobile device with them every day and we need to make sure that the location data of innocent people is not subject to unreasonable or unchecked searches by government,” Rep. Joe Atkins, D-Inver Grove Heights, said. “Times have changed and we use our mobile devices for location services all the time. We need to make sure our laws catch up with the times.”

A search warrant would only be issued if the government entity showed probable cause that the person who possesses the device is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony-level offense, Atkins said.