In Wyoming it is Now Illegal to Collect Data About Pollution

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In Wyoming it is Now Illegal to Collect Data About Pollution

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:53 pm

In Wyoming it is Now Illegal to Collect Data About Pollution
Descent Into Tyranny
June 10, 2015

A new Wyoming law expands on the “ag-gag” trend of criminalizing whistleblowers in a new way: making it illegal for citizens to gather data about environmental pollution.

Wyoming’s Senate Bill 12, or the “Data Trespassing Bill” as it’s being called, criminalizes the collection of “resource data.”

It defines collection as “to take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted or intended to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.”

Yes, you read that correctly. This law is explicitly targeting those who gather evidence from open land of corporate pollution for the purpose of turning that evidence over to the government.

The law goes on to say that any evidence gathered without the property owner’s written or verbal permission will not be admissible as evidence in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.

The Wyoming bill came with heavy support from cattle ranchers, who are involved in a lawsuit against the Western Watershed Project. Ranchers say the environmentalists improperly collected water samples, which showed elevated E. coli levels.

The lawsuit is pending, but regardless of how it turns out, collecting data on public lands is now illegal in the state.

“This is an effort to make it illegal for citizens to gather truthful information about all the people using natural resources,” Wyoming attorney Justin Pidot told VICE News. “It has a significant chilling effect on citizens who want to gather information about public land.”

source ... pollution/
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