Iowa voters could decide amendment protecting against some electronic searches

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has unanimously passed a resolution that seeks to amend the state’s constitution to add rules for how authorities can search and seize electronic communications and data.

The chamber voted 96-0 Thursday, February 25, 2016, for the resolution, which heads to the Senate. The Legislature would need to approve the proposal next year, and it then would go before voters in 2018.

The resolution would specify that a person’s electronic communications and data are only subject to search and seizure by state authorities with a warrant. The state constitution currently specifies that protection for a person, as well as his or her home, papers and other physical items.

Representative Ken Rizer, a Cedar Rapids Republican who supports the resolution, says it will add protections above the current system under federal law.