Fourth Amendment

PA May Eliminate Warrant Requirement for Online Data

Just might raise privacy concerns


Civil liberties groups warn that the proposal contained in HB 90 will erode privacy rights and allow law enforcement to bypass judicial oversight when obtaining data about Internet users in the name of tracking down child predators on the web.

But advocates for the legislation, including many groups representing law enforcement agencies in the state, say the change will let them move more quickly to track down the 3,000 suspected child sex offenders in the state.

The bill would allow police to get a so-called "administrative subpoena" from a district attorney for certain investigations instead of having to wait to get a warrant from a judge.