(KCPW News) A bill that sparked retribution from hackers on the Salt Lake City Police Department’s website moved forward in the Utah Senate today despite opposition from some Republican lawmakers. Democratic Senator Karen Mayne is sponsoring SB 107, which would criminalize the possession of graffiti paraphernalia if someone demonstrates intent to vandalize property. But Republican Senator Steve Urquhart was one of six Republicans to vote against the measure, saying it goes too far.
“We can cut out so much criminal activity in our society if we just kind of think we know who the criminals are and we round them up, then crime really would go down,” Urquhart says. “But it would happen at the expense of our liberty. It would happen at the expensive our society.”
On Tuesday, the international activist group Anonymous took credit for hacking the SLCPD website in protest of the bill.
Senate President Michael Waddoups says he doesn’t understand why the group targeted the Salt Lake City Police Department, when the bill was sponsored on behalf of the sheriff’s office.
“Somebody suggested that maybe they should have gone after the legislative website,” Waddoups says. “I talked to our IT staff and they were pleased that we didn’t go down. They thought that perhaps maybe someone had tried and wasn’t successful and maybe the city one was just an easier target.”
Mayne says the bill has widespread support from law enforcement and city leaders across the state. SB 107 will be voted on once more by the Senate before moving to the House.
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