Signed as Law: Utah Expands Limits on Drone Surveillance

On Monday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill into law expanding state limits on government drone surveillance. The legislation will not only establish important privacy protections at the state level; it will also help thwart the federal surveillance state.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox (R) introduced House Bill 259 (HB259) on Jan. 28. In 2014, Utah passed a law requiring police to get a warrant before conducting drone surveillance in most situations. HB259 clarifies that the law applies “to any imaging surveillance device, as defined in Section 77-23d-102 when used in conjunction with an unmanned aircraft system.” This includes “radar, sonar, infrared, or other remote sensing or detection technology.”

In effect, the enactment of HB259 clarifies that this type of technology cannot be used in conjunction with a drone without a warrant.

The Senate passed HB259 by a 23-0 vote. The House approved the measure by a vote of 70-0. With Gov. Cox’s signature, the law goes into effect May 4.

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Salt Lake City Tribune editorial calls for National Guard to keep unvaccinated people in their homes

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board published an editorial on Saturday that called on the Utah governor to use the National Guard to prevent unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere. 

In an editorial titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic, the Editorial Board writes” the paper lays blame at elected officials for failing to mandate the vaccine for all citizens. The paper asserted that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting unvaccinated people go “anywhere.” 

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote

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Republican Utah Governor Defends Utah Jazz Basketball Team Excluding White Students From Scholarship

This evening on his call-in radio show, the establishment Republican Governor of Utah, Spencer J. Cox, defended the Utah Jazz basketball team in response to a constituent’s question regarding whether or not he thought that it was racist for the team’s scholarship opportunity to exclude white children…

The move by the Utah Jazz to exclude white children is in line with other recent actions taken by the NBA to support radical ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activism, such as Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban trying and failing to end the tradition of standing for the National Anthem, and the organization as a whole pledging to donate over $300 million dollars to ‘black empowerment.’

Nor is the announcement from Gov. Cox particularly surprising. Gov. Cox vowed he would not support President Trump back in 2016, chastised Christians who oppose gay marriage, when he flagellated himself by saying “I recognize fully that I am a balding, youngish, middle-aged straight, white, male, Republican, politician… with all of the expectations and privileges that come with those labels.” He also made a video pledging a ‘commitment to civility and the peaceful transition of power’ with his democrat opponent during the 2020 election, a subtle slight, once again, towards President Trump.

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Utah Passes Law Requiring Porn to Be Blocked on All Cellphones, Tablets in the State

The free thinking argument, that blows away the notion of illegal prostitution, is that of pornography. Pornography, or porn, is nothing more than prostitution that has been state-sanctioned, taxed, filmed, and distributed. However, because it is taxed — politicians have generally left it alone — until now. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill Tuesday that calls for all smartphones and tablets sold in the Beehive State to have adult content filters.

If one is truly for freedom, outlawing consensual acts between adults should be resisted — even if these acts involve the swapping of bodily fluids. And, although the state claims the right to kidnap and cage people for engaging in these consensual acts, it does not mean they are somehow immoral.

The Free Thought Project has long objected to the prohibition of sex work as it creates crime, sends sex workers into dangerous situations, and outlaws one of the oldest professions in the world. While the prohibition of sex work is bad enough, the governor of Utah passing a law that will filter out legal pornography on all tablets and smartphones sold in the state is outright tyrannical.

If someone wishes to access porn on their device, they must first get permission from their cellphone provider and they will be put on a list of people allowed to view porn.

According to House Bill 72, the so-called filter would “prevent the user of the device from accessing material that is harmful to minors on the device; enable certain users to deactivate the filter for the device or for specific content; and notify the user when content is filtered.”

Cox said the move would send an “important message” about preventing children from accessing explicit content on the Web.

“We really want to empower parents,” Cox said. “If nothing else it sends an important message.”

But blocking pornography on 100 percent of devices in the state does absolutely nothing to “empower parents.” There are already programs and filters available to empower parents to block porn on devices and they are free. All this law does, as the ACLU of Utah put it “infringes upon the general public’s First Amendment rights to freely access the internet.”

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Paris Hilton Testifies on Abduction as a Child, Placement in Facility, Torture and Sex Abuse

Paris Hilton made a surprise appearance at the Utah State Legislature on Monday to testify in favor of a new bill that regulates so-called “troubled teen” facilities. Her testimony was nothing short of horrifying as it detailed rampant torture and sexual abuse of children in these facilities — of which she was a part.

“My name is Paris Hilton. I’m an institutional abuse survivor,” she said.

Utah is considering a new piece of legislation that would attempt to prevent such horrifying abuses from happening in the future and Hilton was there in support of it.  Senate Bill 127 would put these facilities that deal with youth who are facing addiction, behavioral and other issues under more oversight, including regular reports to the state on how they utilize restraints.

Currently, these centers are not subject to any spot inspections and do not have to report when they restrain a child, use a chemical restraint, or otherwise abuse the children. Under the current law in Utah, this lack of oversight allows abuses like the ones faced by Hilton to go unchecked.

In her emotional testimony, Hilton described her abuse, starting with her being abducted in the middle of the night from her home. She was essentially kidnapped and then flown to Utah and placed in multiple “troubled teen” facilities at which the abuse occurred. In some of these places she was kept in solitary confinement for days on end.

“That small room covered in scratch marks and smeared blood with no bathroom is one of the most vivid and traumatizing memories I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” she said. “Children were restrained, hit, thrown into walls, strangled and sexually abused regularly at Provo.”

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