Gov Proposes Cell Phone Surveillance For Drug Trafficking

Jan 11, 2017

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says he wants the legislature to update the state’s wiretapping laws.

The move is part of an overall attempt to address the state's methamphetamine epidemic. Daugaard says the update allows police to monitor drug trafficking.

Daugaard says right now law enforcement can use court orders to tap into landline phones.

“But there’s no provision in the law for cell phones, because the law was written before cell phones were in existence. So, it simply adds cell phones to the existing statute. And doesn’t invade privacy any differently than one might consider it threatened. The safeguard is the judge.”

Daugaard says criminals produce meth on an industrial scale and bring it into the state. He says cell phones play a role in drug trafficking.