To The Editor:

In this age of political divide, Missourians across a wide spectrum of political viewpoints are joining forces to support Amendment 9. We currently have endorsements from 16 broad-based organizations and leaders. Why? We love our technology and value our privacy.

We believe Missourians shouldn’t have to choose between using new technologies and protecting their privacy.

Our Constitution recognizes that citizens in a democracy require privacy in their “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” Those values should be continued into the modern age. Our correspondence is no less sensitive simply because it is sent and stored electronically.

Amendment 9 would amend the Missouri Constitution to include electronic communications and data and provide a clear and common-sense standard for the digital age. Just as the government must get a warrant to read people’s postal mail, so should it obtain a search warrant to read people’s email.

Please vote yes for Amendment 9 on Aug. 5 and make Missouri the first state to have its Constitution amended to ensure the protection of privacy in the digital age. Together we can tell the nation that Missouri — a heartland state — opposes warrantless searches and surveillance.