In this day and age of accelerated technological innovations, lawmakers and regulators have a hard time keeping up with changes. Bitcoin is a prime example of throwing a monkey wrench in the plans of regulators and legislators to maintain centralized control. But there is a change coming to the political system as well, as Wyoming lawmakers have adopted legislation to keep up with these innovations, and their potential threats to their control.
Collecting Data on Open Land is Illegal in Wyoming
A lot of everyday consumers are preoccupied with how government officials and federal law agencies collect all types of data. Regardless of where a consumer might be at any given time, their mobile devices are being monitored, CCTV feeds are picking up their presence on tape, and any picture you take is automatically riddled with geographical information.
In a surprising turn of events, Wyoming legislators have made it illegal to gather any form of data from open land. For the everyday consumer, this also means it is now illegal to take pictures at certain locations, assuming this data would be used to put the government in a bad light.
The major reason why this two-part legislative package was drafted in the first place — and later on signed by Governor Matt Mead — is to keep environmentalists, animal rights advocates, and media outlets at bay. Any evidence of wrongdoing — while gathered without the landowners’ permissions — will not be admissible in court, and regulators are unable to act upon this information.
Furthermore, this new legislation gives landowners every possible tool to sue for trespassing, which is an important byproduct. Wyoming is not the first US state to take this route, though, as earlier this year, Idaho’s pro-agribusiness law barred a secret recording of livestock. Both of these legislative measures are a serious threat to exposing government errors and abuse in the agricultural space.
To make matters even worse, this type of legislation might spread to neighboring US states as well. Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, North Dakota, and Montana might follow the same route as Wyoming and Idaho. However, this type of legislation faces strong opposition from various sources, including the National Resources Defense Council.
Regardless of which side you are on, this type of legislation is data censorship in its purest form. Violating these legal statutes can lead to a prison sentence of up to one year, civil trespassing liability and a $1,000 USD fine. Collecting any source of “resource data” — ranging from pictures of polluted water to notes on the landscape, and even videos of injured animals — is considered a violation of this law.
It is important to note this form of action does not only censor the type of information required to expose these illegal activities, but government agencies are forced to ignore resource data collected without landowner authorization. Putting this into layman’s terms, citizens and journalists are discouraged from getting involved in anything that might be considered “wrong” in Wyoming, or they will face severe penalties.
Freedom of Speech Closely Tied to Blockchain-based Transparency?
Government officials and legislators are trying hard to reduce the level of freedom in countries all over the world. Whether it is freedom of speech, freedom to act, freedom to gather potential evidence, or freedom to use a type of currency not controlled by central banks, citizens will have to revolt if they want to get things done.
Not revolt in the traditional sense of a call to arms and war, but rather by opening a dialogue with legislators regarding the topics they feel are important to them. Just because a new legislation has been drafted, doesn’t mean there are no revisions to be made down the line.
Furthermore, even though any collected evidence may be dismissed in court, a transparent solution based on blockchain technology will help expose the truth. Blockchain-based solutions are available to anyone in the world, and any data stored can not be taken offline, as there is no centralized server in play. Once something is embedded into the blockchain, it is there forever, for everyone to see.
What are your thoughts on this Wyoming legislation? Do you see blockchain technology playing a role in finding alternative ways to expose the truth? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Ars Technica
Images courtesy of Trib, Shutterstock, Life with Amir
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