Legislature(1993 - 1994)
1993-03-01 House JournalFull Journal pdf
1993-03-01 House Journal Page 0488 HB 187 HOUSE BILL NO. 187 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act authorizing the interception of private communications related to the commission of certain criminal offenses; making related amendments to statutes relating to eavesdropping and wiretapping; relating to the penalty for violation of statutes relating to eavesdropping and unauthorized interception, publication, or use of private communications; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Labor & Commerce, Judiciary and Finance Committees. The following fiscal notes apply to HB 187: Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 3/1/93 Indeterminate fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 3/1/93 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Public Safety, 3/1/93 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Law, 3/1/93 The Governor's transmittal letter, dated March 1, 1993, appears below: "Dear Speaker Barnes: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill authorizing the interception of private communications. Section 1 creates a new chapter in the criminal code relating to "interception of private communications," more commonly thought of as "wiretapping." Sections 2 - 8 of this bill make conforming 1993-03-01 House Journal Page 0489 HB 187 amendments to existing eavesdropping statutes in AS42 (Public Utilities and Carriers) and increase the penalty for a violation of those statutes. The bill contains substantial safeguards and protections similar to those required in federal law. Comprehensive federal legislation has been enacted (18 U.S.C. 2510 - 2521), authorizing wiretapping under carefully delineated circumstances. Under the federal law, states may adopt similar laws only if, like this bill, they are at least as restrictive and protective of private communications as the federal law. Under this bill, wiretapping is permitted only if a court order is obtained in advance, and only the attorney general or the attorney general's designee may authorize an application for the order. This bill limits the crimes for which wiretapping may be used to murder, kidnapping, and class A or unclassified felony drug offenses. Careful records must be kept during the interceptions, which must be filed with and held by the court under seal. Notice of the interception must be given in almost all circumstances and a defendant always has the right to move to suppress the evidence for any violation of the law, before it is used at trial or sentencing. Finally, annual reports, providing information about each interception made during the year, must be prepared by the attorney general and filed with the federal government. This bill is one of four that I am introducing this session to create tough new laws to combat drugs and violent crime. If enacted, these bills will give the state the tools it needs to investigate and prosecute serious criminals fairly and effectively. I urge your favorable action on this bill. Sincerely, /s/ Walter J. Hickel Governor"