Saturday, December 17, 2022

Dahm files bills on privacy, surveillance, and eminant domain abuse

State Sen. Nathan Dahm is on a tear during what he is dubbing 'Bill of Rights Week', filing legislation aimed at strengthening and bolstering constitutional rights for Oklahomans.

Featured in this post, two press releases on bills related to privacy, surveillance, and eminant domain abuse.

Sen. Dahm files bills to protect 4th Amendment rights

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 14th) – Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed multiple pieces of legislation intended to strengthen 4th Amendment rights for Oklahoma citizens.

“As we continue to observe Bill of Rights Week, there are numerous provisions in the Bill of Rights that are being violated,” Dahm said. “Among those is the 4th Amendment right to be secure in your person, your home, and your effects.”

Senate Bill 38 would prohibit any government entity from obtaining and/or using metadata, stored/transmitted data, or location information without a court order or search warrant issued by a court upon probable cause.

SB 35 creates the Electronic Communication and Device Privacy Act. The act would prohibit government entities from obtaining electronic communication information without a warrant, court order, wiretap order, or other special circumstances outlined in the bill.

SJR1 would amend Article 2 Section 30 of the Oklahoma Constitution. This measure would add electronic data and communications to the list of items that require a warrant based on probable cause to search for or seize such items.

“Our phones and computers store incredible amounts of information about us,” Dahm said. “Our habits, our preferences, and even our location. This is very personal and private information that the government should not be able to obtain on a whim. In addition, no government entity should be able to compel you or your service provider to produce private communication without a warrant.”

SB 37 would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using an international mobile subscriber identity catcher (IMSI-catcher) or “Stingray” to spoof a cell tower in order to collect data from every cell phone in the area including real-time or historical electronic communications and location information without first obtaining a search warrant.

“Use of these devices without a warrant is unconstitutional,” Dahm said. “This legislation makes it clear that any evidence collected by a ‘Stingray’ without a warrant is inadmissible in court.”

SB 36 expands the Open Records Act to require law enforcement agencies to make publicly available any audio or video recordings taken via unmanned law enforcement vehicles or drones.

“With each technological advancement it becomes easier and easier for the government to track and surveil us,” Dahm said. “If we wish to stay free and not become a surveillance state like Communist China, we must ensure that the 4th Amendment does not get thrown to the wayside. These bills are an excellent step in that direction.”

Sen. Dahm files eminent domain reform bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 15th) – Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, filed Senate Bill 41 on Thursday to protect Oklahoma property owners from eminent domain abuse.

“As we celebrate Bill of Rights Day, a significant provision of the Bill of Rights is being violated in our state by the unjust taking of property,” Dahm said. “This bill attempts to constrain government in its use of eminent domain and make it very clear that those powers are limited.”

SB 41 replaces the term “public purpose” with “public use” and provides a clear definition of public use. It also states that economic development – including an increase in tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health –does not constitute a public use.

“The public use terminology used by the founders has gradually eroded. What began as ‘public use’ became ‘public purpose’ which became ‘public benefit’,” Dahm said.  “That interpretation gives government vast authority, effectively the ability to take anyone’s property for any reason. The founders never intended that to be the case.”

SB 41 provides definitions for blight and abandoned property and places the burden of proof on the condemning authority to prove that the taking of blighted property is necessary for a legitimate public use. The bill also allows property owners to reclaim their condemned property if the condemning authority fails to use it.

“Current law gives former property owners ‘first dibs’ to buy back their condemned property if it is not used,” Dahm said. “No property owner should have to buy back property that they were forced to sell, that’s ridiculous. By allowing former property owners to reclaim their property, SB 41 will provide them some remedy to eminent domain abuse and make it more costly for government to misuse that power.”


Post a Comment

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME when commenting. Anonymous comments may be rejected if NOT accompanied by a name.

Comments are welcome, but remember - commenting on my blog is a privilege. Do not abuse that privilege, or your comment will be deleted.

Thank you for joining in the discussion at! Your opinion is appreciated!