Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/25/1993 12:10 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HOUSE BILL NO. 187                                                           
                                                                               
       "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."                   
                                                                               
  DEAN GUANELI,  CHIEF ASSISTANT  ATTORNEY, DEPARTMENT  OF LAW                 
  discussed HB 187.   He explained  that federal wire  tapping                 
  law would not cover all  occasions that the Department wants                 
  to pursue.   He noted that  the federal government will  not                 
  get   involved   with   murder   cases   unless   interstate                 
  jurisdiction is  involved.  He  observed that before  a wire                 
  tap is established  someone from the Department  of Law must                 
  be involved.  He  emphasized that the standards apply  as in                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  issuing a search warrant.    He maintained that wire tapping                 
  will be the last resort employed in an investigation.                        
                                                                               
  CHARLES COLE,  ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT  OF LAW  pointed                 
  out that wire tapping  is allowed only in cases of murder in                 
  the  first  or second  degree, kidnapping  or  a class  A or                 
  unclassified felony drug  offense.   He noted that  detailed                 
  requirements are  contained on  pages 2  - 4.   He  reviewed                 
  requirements  and  limitations  of wire  taps.    He assured                 
  members that adequate safeguards exist.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  referred  to page  11, line  25.   She                 
  asked what procedures will be followed prior to interception                 
  of communications in  electronic storage.   She pointed  out                 
  that  the  electronic  storage  could  mean voice  mail  and                 
  bulletin  board communications.   She expressed concern that                 
  the legislation  is being  broadened to  included computers.                 
  Mr. Guaneli  stated that  the procedures  applying to  paper                 
  storage would apply to computer storage.                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred to page 9, line 20.  She asked                 
  the meaning of "nonconstitutional violation".    Mr. Guaneli                 
  stated that the intent is that  the misapplication of one of                 
  the  specific  provisions  required in  the  issuing  of the                 
  warrant will not give  rise to a lawsuit for  damages unless                 
  there  is  a  violation of  an  individual's  constitutional                 
  rights.    He  noted  that   the  provisions  are  detailed.                 
  Evidence  collected  improperly would  not be  admissable in                 
  trial.                                                                       
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-125, Side 2)                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf asked  what would  happen if  an                 
  investigation uncovered a crime which is  not covered by the                 
  wire tapping warrant.  Attorney General Cole noted that page                 
  8, line 19 covers unanticipated interceptions.                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  provided  members  with  AMENDMENT  1                 
  (Attachment 8).  She explained that the amendment would make                 
  available to  the Governor  and the  Legislature information                 
  regarding the use  of wire  tapping.  She  pointed out  that                 
  confidential information would  not be  involved.   Attorney                 
  General Cole did not object to the amendment.                                
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  MOVED  to AMEND  the  Amendment  to                 
  delete "for  the Governor  and the  Legislature" and  insert                 
  "and make available  to the public."   Representative Martin                 
  OBJECTED.  A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                         
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf,  Brown,   Foster,  Hanley,   Parnell,                 
                 Therriault, MacLean, Larson                                   
  OPPOSED:  Martin                                                             
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representatives Hoffman and Navarre were not present for the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8-1).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED to ADOPT  AMENDMENT 1 as amended.                 
  Co-Chair Larson OBJECTED.  A roll call vote was taken on the                 
  motion.                                                                      
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf,  Brown,   Foster,  Hanley,   Parnell,                 
                 Therriault                                                    
  OPPOSED:  Martin, MacLean, Larson                                            
                                                                               
  Representatives Hoffman and Navarre were not present for the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 2 (Attachment                 
  9).    She  stated  that the  amendment  would  clarify that                 
  cellular  telephone  communications be  included.   Attorney                 
  General Cole  spoke against  the amendment.   He  maintained                 
  that   cellular   phones    would   already   be   included.                 
  Representative Brown replied  that page 16, line  6 excludes                 
  "any communication that is readily accessible to the general                 
  public."  She  noted that cellular phones are  accessible to                 
  the  general public.   She  asserted that  the  amendment is                 
  needed to prevent  exclusion of  cellular phones.   Attorney                 
  General Cole disagreed that cellular phone transmissions are                 
  "readily"  accessible.    Representative  Parnell  spoke  in                 
  support of Amendment 2.  There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment                 
  2 was adopted.                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED to ADOPT  AMENDMENT 3 (Attachment                 
  10).   She explained that Amendment 3 would include cordless                 
  phones.  She maintained that cordless phones are excluded on                 
  page 15, line  29.   She stressed that  private phone  calls                 
  should be  kept private  unless procedures  are followed  to                 
  obtain a  wire tap  warrant.   Attorney  General Cole  spoke                 
  against Amendment  3.   Representative Martin  OBJECTED.   A                 
  roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                      
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Foster, Parnell, MacLean                       
  OPPOSED:  Hanley, Martin, Therriault, Larson                                 
                                                                               
  Representatives Hoffman and Navarre were not present for the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (5-4).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED  to ADOPT  AMENDMENT 4 to  insert                 
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "Except for a  party to a  private conversation."   Attorney                 
  General  Cole agreed that  the amendment  clarifies existing                 
  statutes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                      
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell referred  to page  11, line 14.   He                 
  asked  if  the requirement  to  file reports  would endanger                 
  officers.   Attorney General  Cole replied  that the  Alaska                 
  State Troopers have no objection to the requirement.                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Foster  asked for  further  clarification of                 
  unanticipated interception.  Mr. Guaneli noted that officers                 
  are required to minimize  interceptions not directly related                 
  to the investigation.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown referred  to  page 8,  line  22.   She                 
  suggested that approval  for unanticipated interceptions  be                 
  limited to crimes  covered by AS 12.37.010.   Representative                 
  Hanley argued for a broader interpretation.   Representative                 
  Grussendorf noted that search warrants  are harder to obtain                 
  and that evidence  is more tangible.   Attorney General Cole                 
  suggested that "felony" be inserted on page 8, line 22.  Co-                 
  Chair  Larson  MOVED  to  AMEND  Amendment  4  to  insert "a                 
  felony".  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  MOVED  to ADOPT  AMENDMENT  4  as amended.                 
  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED  to report CSHB 187 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CSHB  187  (FIN) was  reported  out  of Committee  with  "no                 
  recommendation"  and  with   a  zero  fiscal  note   by  the                 
  Department of Law, dated  3/1/93; a zero fiscal note  by the                 
  Department of  Administration, dated 3/1/93; a fiscal impact                 
  note by the Alaska Court System; a fiscal impact note by the                 
  Department of Public Safety, dated 4/2/93; and with a fiscal                 
  impact  note  by  the  Department  of  Administration, dated                 
  3/1/93.                                                                      

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