ACLU criticizes proposed subpoena power for PA prosecutors

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 5, 2013 1:49 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A bill to make it easier for Pennsylvania prosecutors to obtain personal information about Internet users in child sex abuse cases is drawing flak from civil libertarians who say it could compromise privacy.

The bill would allow the state attorney general and county district attorneys to issue administrative subpoenas, instead of court-issued search warrants currently required, to identify people suspected of transmitting child pornography.

The subpoenas would require service providers to supply names, addresses and phone numbers of customers traced through their Internet Protocol addresses.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane supports the bill. Her office says police still would need search warrants to gather evidence and make arrests. American Civil Liberties Union lobbyist Andy Hoover says the bill would reduce the courts' role in preventing abuses of government power.

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