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Senator Stargel, District 22 — Press Release


February 13, 2013

CONTACT: Chris Spencer, 850-487-5022

Senator Jeff Brandes Files Digital Privacy Bill

Searches of portable electronic devices to now require a warrant

Tallahassee – Today Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) filed SB 846 – search and seizure of a portable electronic device, designed to preserve the privacy of Floridians in a continuously evolving world of digital technology.


“The 4th Amendment protects Floridians against unreasonable search of their papers and effects,” said Brandes. “In today’s increasingly paperless world we are seeking to clarify that cell phones and tablets are the modern version of papers and effects.”


“Privacy is a fundamental right that we as legislators need to protect, and with technology changing rapidly I believe that we need to revise our laws to protect our citizens,” said Representative Carlos Trujillo, who is sponsoring the companion measure in the House of Representatives. “I look forward to working with Senator Brandes on this important piece of legislation.”


The bill prohibits the search or seizure of the contents of a portable electronic device without a search warrant. In addition the bill will require a search warrant before a portable electronic device can be tracked by government entities. The bill contains exceptions for national security, the search of a missing minor, and established lawful exceptions to existing search warrant statutes.