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House Bill Would Outlaw GPS Tracking

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The state House of Representatives has passed a billthat would ban the use of GPS devices to secretly track people. The bill would make such tracking illegal someone without a court order.

This was a bill that seemed destined to disappear: in committee it was voted 14 – 0 to refer it for more study. With an election coming up, that would almost certainly mean that the bill would never be seen again.

But the bill’s sponsor, representative Neal Kurk from Weare, pulled it back from the brink. He opened his comments with a cautionary tale about a jealous boyfriend tracking his ex.

"He had to work too, so he couldn't follow her everywhere. The $30 GPS device that he bought online from Amazon would do it for him," he said, "frightening? It’s not science fiction, tracking is real and its happening now."

The bill through by a margin of 25 votes, though it will face a second committee before its final vote.

Opponents say in an age when GPS devices in cell phones are ubiquitous, the bill doesn’t address the technical challenges and unintended consequences of prohibiting such tracking.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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