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Blog

California Helps Pave the Way for Digital Privacy Reform

As attempts to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are continually stalled out in Washington, California took the initiative, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed a new bill into law last week. CalECPA or S.B. 178 greatly strengthens state privacy standards compared to federal requirements under ECPA. Most importantly, the legislation mandates that state authorities must obtain a warrant to access any private emails, regardless of age. This is a notable change from the previous standard, which allowed authorities access to the same content without a warrant as long as the emails were dated past 180 days. Additionally, the bill would also require California authorities to obtain a warrant not only for emails, but for digital records, texts, and a user’s geographical location as well. Even further, the protections provided in this bill would be applied to online storage services in addition to electronic devices.

10/14/2015
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Blog

California Assembly succumbs to misinformation and bullying from opponents of civil asset forfeiture reform

The California Assembly killed legislation on Thursday that would have addressed a concerning loophole in state civil asset forfeiture law. The loophole allows state and local law enforcement to circumvent protections for innocent property owners in California's forfeiture laws by pursuing seized property under the federal government's terrible forfeiture laws.

09/10/2015
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Blog

Federal government threatens states considering comprehensive civil asset forfeiture reform

The Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury are interfering in a debate over a piece of legislation currently in the California Assembly that would close a loophole in the state's civil asset forfeiture laws. The loophole allows law enforcement to circumvent protections in the state's forfeiture laws by pursuing forfeitures in federal courts, which creates a serious problem for innocent property owners.

09/08/2015
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Blog

Judge Brings California One Step Closer to Killing Uber

In the state of California, the popular ridesharing service Uber is under serious attack. We’ve covered how earlier this year, the California Labor Commission issued a ruling that the company’s drivers should be classified as employees, rather than the independent contractors Uber claims they are. This classification has major implications for Uber and all similar services in the future, since employees are subject to massive labor regulations from which contractors are exempt. The cost of complying with these regulations would be crippling, if not fatal, for Uber’s services in California, and the door would be closed on any businesses with a similarly innovative business model in the future.

09/02/2015
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Blog

Unlikely allies in the California Legislature urge colleagues to protect innocent people from abuse of federal forfeiture law

UPDATE: The Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously approved SB 443 on Tuesday, though it was amended. The bill will have to go through the Appropriations Committee before it heads to the Assembly for a final vote. Because the bill was amended in committee, it will have to go back to the Senate for approval.

07/13/2015
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Blog

California House committee expected to take up legislation to protect innocent property owners from abuse of federal law

The California House Public Safety Committee is expected to hold a hearing on July 14 to debate proposed civil asset forfeiture reforms that offer substantive protections for innocent property owners.

06/19/2015
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Blog

Legislation on the move in California to protect innocent property owners from abuse of civil asset forfeiture

The California Senate considered a bill on Wednesday that would close a big loophole in the state's civil asset forfeiture laws that currently permits state and local law enforcement to use federal statutes to go after property believed to be connected to illicit activity.

06/03/2015
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Blog

How Over-Regulation Kills Opportunity

Much of the Bill of Rights is dedicated to protecting accused persons, an action integral to our society. Expanding upon the Sixth Amendment’s granted right to legal counsel, states have put legislation in place that strictly dictates who can practice law. While such regulations aim to protect citizens, they have adverse effects and actually abridge the freedoms we hold dear.

05/29/2015
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Blog

New report details how the Justice Department encourages abuse of civil asset forfeiture

Southern California is known for many things: Hollywood, the Los Angeles Dodgers, a great punk rock scene, and amazing weather. Though the state is justifiably mocked for its significant budget programs and heavy regulatory burden, it has some of the better civil asset forfeiture laws in the country, though that isn't saying much considering how most states practically encourage abuse of this pernicious tool.

04/24/2015
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Press Release

FreedomWorks for America Endorses Arturo Alas in CA-32

FreedomWorks for America announced its endorsement today for Arturo Alas for U.S. Congress in California’s thirty-second congressional district.

09/16/2014

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