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States Seek to Tighten Reigns on Gov't Surveillance

09-07-2014

State lawmakers are sending a message to the federal government and local law enforcement: stop spying on private citizens.

At least 14 states across the country are taking steps to prevent government surveillance of ordinary people.

They're angry the National Security Agency has been tracking Americans' digital activities, and that the federal government hasn't done much to stop it since the program was exposed in May of 2013.

Lawmakers in several states are now taking action to protect citizens' privacy.

In Colorado, legislators introduced a bill that would limit the retention of images from license plate readers.

A measure in Oregon would require "urgent circumstances" to obtain cell phone location data.

And in Delaware, lawmakers are proposing a plan that increases privacy protections for text messages.

Supporters said the measures are needed to preserve liberty. But opponents worry they will hinder law enforcement efforts.

Some bills promoting broader protections against email surveillance have already passed, but they've had varying results. One proposal became law in Texas last year, but a similar measure was vetoed in California where the governor said it was too onerous for police to follow.

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