A few days ago, we learned that Utah State Rep. V. Lowry Snow had introduced a bill, H.B. 330, that would have prevented the recording of a private conversation without the consent of the other person (with few exceptions).
That sounds perfectly reasonable… until you realize the impetus for the bill — and the reason it was backed by the Mormon Church shortly after it was filed — was that several critics of the Church had exposed certain religious practices by surreptitiously recording temple ceremonies and bishops’ statements. This bill would’ve targeted those recordings.
But after a lot of public backlash, the legislators are backing down. (Well done, everyone.)
“It does appear that this original concept was universally hated,” said Sen. Todd Weiler, a Woods Cross Republican and Senate sponsor of the bill.
Rep. V. Lowry Snow, a St. George Republican who sponsored the bill, said he’s asked the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee not to move the measure forward for now…
“There was a lot of negative input coming back,” Snow said. “A lot of it, not all of it, but a lot of it was misplaced. Because it was clear to me that they had also not read the exemptions that existed in the bill. Nevertheless, the feedback has been significant that has come back not in support.”
Weiler went so far as to express regret in agreeing to sign onto the bill. (He hadn’t read it when he agreed, he said.)
They’re typical politicians in that they didn’t understand the bill they were pushing and dismissed criticism of it as ignorance on everyone else’s part. But they’re atypical in that they pulled their own bill once they realized how much people hated it. I want to give them credit for that… until I realize they’re the same people who introduced this idiotic bill.
Right now, the legislation may be amended and given another shot this year. Or it might die and have to wait for another session before coming up again. Either way, it’s not fully gone, which is why Utahns have to keep reminding their elected officials to vote against this bill.
(Screenshot via YouTube)