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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO & DEA Announce Utah Take Back Program


 SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announce Utah Take Back, a day set aside to help rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. The two offices encourage Utahns to participate in this year’s Take Back day on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at convenient locations across the state.

“Prescription drug abuse and deaths related to opioids have risen to epidemic levels in Utah and across the country. Opioid addiction has ravaged rural and urban areas as well as uptown and downtown neighborhoods. It has taken far too many lives and ruined countless more. Those who suffer from addiction may be soccer moms or executives. They can be star athletes, high achieving students, popular kids or “loners.” They are our kids, grandkids, and kids from the block.  And whether we realize it or not, our medicine cabinets might be the very place where they are looking or have already been for their next high or pill party,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.” In 2016, over 64,000 Americans died from drug overdose rates, which is on average 90 people a day. Utah has the 7th highest drug overdose rate in the United States, losing over 10 people a week. Since 2000, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids has increased 400%. Last year, Utah collected over 33,000 pounds of prescription drugs to dispose of properly and the aim this year is to collect more.

DEA District Agent in Charge Brian Besser stated,

“In a coordinated response to the national heroin and opioid crisis, DEA is working aggressively with our federal, state, and local partners to address America’s prescription pill and heroin abuse problem.  Recently, DEA has implemented a 360 Strategy within the State of Utah to address this public health crisis, and the National Drug Takeback Initiative is a key component of that strategy.  Please partner with the DEA and the Utah Attorney General’s Office in taking determined steps to collect your un-used, unwanted, and expired prescription drugs so that they can be properly disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.  Help keep Utah drug safe!”

In addition to contributing to addictions and overdoses, improper disposal of unused and expired medications leads to damage to our environment. Medications that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting our waters, impacting aquatic species, and contaminating our food and water supplies. Measurable amounts of antibiotics, antidepressants, and medications have all been found in U.S. lakes and rivers. Wastewater treatment and septic systems are unable to remove most medicines, which are a special type of hazardous chemical unsafe for solid waste systems and landfills. Drugs can be very toxic to people and wildlife, even in low doses. 

The Take Back service, provided through the partnership of the AGO, DEA, Department of Health, Utah National Guard, and Prevention Resource Centers, is free of charge and anonymous. Not only is it an effort to get the public to dispose of medications, but also to educate as many people as possible about the dangers prescriptions medications can pose.  The following items are returnable: prescription medicines; over the counter medicines; vitamins; pet medicines; medicated ointments and lotions; inhalers; liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces); and medicine samples.

For more information about the April 28th Take Back and to find a collection site, visit

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AG Speaks on Passing of Sam Granato

Tonight, Attorney General Sean Reyes shared the following upon hearing of the passing of Salt Lake City Councilman Sam Granato: 

“I’m so saddened to hear of Sam’s passing. He was not just a friend, but a mentor and like a big brother. It didn’t matter who you were; Sam treated you with respect and class. He certainly lived up to the high expectations of his family name in business, public service, and in life.”

AGO Honors Victims of Crime in April

Annually, the nation recognizes one week in April to promote the rights of crime victims. After participating this month in numerous victim support activities statewide, the Utah Office of the Attorney General issues the following statement from Attorney General Sean D. Reyes to encourage year-long recognition of crime victims and their families:

The Utah AGO has always made it a priority to protect Utahns from criminal conduct in all its forms. Over the years, our office has grown in its victim-centric model as we strive to ensure that victims know what rights and services are available to them even at the earliest stages of investigation and prosecution. Survivors who feel validated are more willing to open up about their trauma and more likely to seek needed assistance. They are also more likely to trust the justice process and help in bringing criminals to justice. 


Victims of crime are often our most vulnerable members of society. We take pride in our work, from the AG victim service professionals to prosecutors, Children’s Justice Center staff, law enforcement agents and medical health providers, to reach all victims, regardless of race, gender, religion, orientation or status. We believe this approach empowers victims to take control of their healing as well as provide hope and direction to others who have experienced or may yet suffer similar victimization.


While victim recognition one week in one month of the year is better than nothing, how much better would our world be if we remembered victims and their families year-round. In our office, we will continue to serve and protect those hurt by crime. We express our sincere gratitude to other first responders, medical partners and all those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve victims in Utah. We hope continued collaboration with strategic partners and members of the community will help us continue to improve our statewide victim response which will in turn provide an open road to assistance, justice, healing and peace.


Earlier in July, we had Open Houses across the state to highlight the important work Children’s Justice Centers provide. We are grateful for those who give their time daily to support and care for victims of abuse.  


AGO Charges UHP Trooper with Arson

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah – The Office of the Utah Attorney General (OAG) announced today that defendant Rex Richard Olsen, a former Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, was sentenced on April 17, 2018 for Second Degree Felony Arson. The charges filed against him were for deliberately starting a fire on or about June 9, 2017 in the wildlands area off the shoulder of Maeser Highway.  At the time he set the fire, the defendant was on duty as a UHP Trooper. The charges came after an investigation by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. The defendant entered a guilty plea on November 14, 2017. The defendant was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison, Probation to Adult Probation and Parole for 36 months, and to serve 180 days in the Uintah County Jail. A restitution hearing is currently set for June 27, 2018 in the 8th District Court in Vernal.  The State is requesting a restitution order in the amount of $482,392.76 for the damage caused to property and land, including the cost of response to and suppressing the fire.
The defendant is also set for sentencing in the Federal District Court on June 7, 2017, for starting a separate but similar fire on BLM land located in Uintah County.  On January 25, 2018, the defendant pled guilty to one count of Underbrush and Grass Set Afire, a Class D Felony, in the United States District Court for Utah.

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AGO Secures Settlement with Tobacco Companies


SALT LAKE CITY – Attorney General Sean Reyes announced a settlement agreement resolving Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds, and other major tobacco companies’ challenge to Utah’s enforcement of a 1990s-era tobacco settlement, resulting in an estimated $300 million coming to Utah over the next ten years.

AG Reyes spoke about the settlement stating,

“This is a monumental win for Utah in many ways. Not only will we see an immediate payout of approximately $60 million, with additional payouts of $240 million over the next ten years, but we also received terms in the settlement to better protect in perpetuity the multi-million dollar annual payments Utah receives from Tobacco companies.

“In addition, because of the waiver we negotiated with the participating manufacturers, Utah will save tens of millions in not having to arbitrate almost two decades worth of claims. This new agreement will give us until 2022 to restructure our compliance and enforcement regime to meet the settlement obligations without further arbitration challenges.

“The funds received will assist the State in fighting cancer and improving the health of Utahans among many other benefits. The tobacco team comprised of Chris Pieper, Alison Garner, Bridget Romano, and others in the AG’s Office did a tremendous job. They put Utah in a strong position going forward. We appreciate the encouragement and input along the way from the Governor, his Cabinet, and the Legislature, which passed a supporting resolution. In particular, Chairman John Valentine and the Utah Tax Commission were essential in making this happen for the State.” 

The agreement settles a dispute with major tobacco companies over enforcement of the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). The MSA requires the tobacco companies to make annual payments to the 46 states involved in the settlement, including Utah. The MSA settled state litigation for health care costs and other damages caused by cigarette smoking, according to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). The payment provisions compensate the states in part for the billions of dollars associated with treating tobacco-related diseases under state Medicaid programs. To date, states have received more than $50 billion in settlement payments, NAAG said.

During the recent dispute, tobacco companies alleged deficiencies in Utah’s enforcement of the MSA that would have put continued annual payments at risk.  With the agreement, Utah secures payment to Utah of MSA funds and gains time to make important regulatory changes to implement heightened enforcement obligations.

“The State Tax Commission is fully committed to the terms of the supplement to the Master Settlement Agreement signed on March 16, 2018,” said John Valentine, Utah State Tax Commissioner. “In accordance with the commitments made there, we will enhance tobacco tax enforcement of Internet sales, contraband sales of tobacco products, and tobacco products sold on reservations to non-Native American customers.”

The Attorney General’s Office is committed to ensuring that tobacco companies meet their obligations to Utah under the MSA without delay or uncertainty. This agreement ensures prompt and reliable payments into the State Endowment Fund and in support of vital health-related programs, including cancer research, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention.

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  1. You can find a copy of the Utah Tobacco Letter here: Utah Joinder Ltr Tobacco.

AGO Dismantles Statewide Gambling Enterprises


SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecutions Section wrapped up a year-long prosecution of two complex gambling organizations. ITM Management, LLC and WC Management, LLC were each convicted of five misdemeanor counts of promoting gambling and five misdemeanor counts of possession of a gambling device. Both fined $10,000.00 and required to remove all machines and gambling devices across the state.

In March of 2017, law enforcement agencies statewide served search warrants and preservation orders on more than 118 businesses from Cache County to Washington County. These warrants were the result of more than a year of investigation by Special Agents of the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

“These illicit gambling operations involved and attracted other types of illegal conduct, causing local law enforcement and city attorneys serious concerns. The city prosecutors approached us along with legislators, including Rep. Justin Fawson, Sen. Curtis Bramble, and Rep. Norman Thurston to conduct a statewide investigation. We appreciate working with all of these partners to serve justice,” said Reyes.

Pierre Marcoux of Florida and John Honeycutt of Weber County, Utah, were also convicted of two misdemeanor counts of promoting gambling and one felony count of money laundering, with a plea in abeyance on the latter charge. The Utah Attorney General’s office seized over $900,000.00 in illicit proceeds, setting an important precedent as to some types of machines and video gaming devices that violate Utah’s gaming statutes.

The investigation was spearheaded by Special Agent James Russell of the Utah Attorney General’s Office’s Investigation Division in partnership with numerous law enforcement agencies and divisions, including county and city police, all of whom deserve credit.  Utah Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecutions Section, including Assistant Attorney General Steven Wuthrich, Paralegal Rosie McDonough, and law clerk Katrina Whitmer, expertly handled the forfeiture issues and prosecution.

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  1. You can find related case logs at the following courts:
    Salt Lake City Justice Court: Case No. 171408939 and 171408940.
    Third Judicial District Court: Case No. 171909305 and 171909307.
  2. The list of agencies involved is as follows: Bountiful City PD, Brigham City PD, Cache County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City PD, Clearfield City PD, Harrisville City PD, Heber City PD, Hurricane City PD, Layton City PD, Lehi City PD, Murray City PD, North Salt Lake City PD, Ogden City PD, Orem City PD, Payson City PD, Pleasant Grove PD, Price City PD, Provo City PD, Roosevelt PD, Roy City PD, St. George PD, Salt Lake City PD, Santaquin City PD, South Jordan City PD, South Ogden City PD, South Salt Lake PD, Spanish Fork City PD, Taylorsville City PD, Washington City PD, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Weber County Sheriff’s Office, West Bountiful City PD, West Jordan City PD, West Valley City PD, and the Unified Police Department.

Combating Violence with Kindness

Utah Legislature Passes Resolution Designating April as #MSDkindness Month

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Legislature passed HCR 22, Concurrent Resolution Designating April as #MSDkindness Month, which aims to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives in the senseless act of violence that was committed against students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clinton) and Sen. Daniel Thatcher (R-West Valley), designates April as Act of Kindness month to encourage Utahns to perform random acts of kindness to honor the victims of Parkland, Florida. In honor of #MSDKindness, a feature was added to the SafeUT so users could report acts of kindness in addition to incidents of crisis. People are encouraged to report their acts of kindness during April through SafeUT, which has been designed to improve school safety and help students access critical mental health resources. These acts of kindness will highlight the good of the community while engaging students in using an app that aims to help prevent future acts of violence.

Ryan Petty, the father of 14-year-old Alaina who lost her life during the recent attack in Florida, stated: 

“It is my goal to makes sure that my daughter’s legacy is remembered as one not of tragedy, but of hope, service, and love. It is also my goal to make sure this time will be different because we are going to focus on school safety initiatives to prevent anyone else from going through what we have gone through these past few weeks. I am grateful to the sponsors and supporters of this initiative who are working diligently to accomplish both of these goals.”

Rep. Ray added:

“The purpose of this resolution is to focus on the hope that comes from the strength of families, like the Petty’s. Their determination is an example to us all on how to persevere through challenging times and bring about positive change to school safety. My heart goes out to families during this time of unthinkable loss. Utah is ready to lead by taking actions to promote acts of kindness as well as developing the Davis School District mental wellness program that can serve as a model for schools around the state and nation.”

“With the noise of the world getting louder every day, simple acts of kindness are the best way to get to the root of the problem,” said Sen. Thatcher. “In fact, it may be the only way.”

“My heart also goes out to the perpetrator of this evil and senseless act,” said Petty. “And I wonder if somebody had put their arms around this young man a few months ago or a few years ago, would his life have been different? How much would the lives of the 17 families who have been impacted by the choices he made be different.”

SafeUT was launched in January 2016, following the passage of SB 175, School Safety and Crisis Line. Attorney General Sean Reyes, chair, and Rep. Steve Eliason and Sen. Thatcher are on the SafeUT Commission, which serves as a powerful tool for dealing with school safety, teen suicide, and the opioid epidemic. The Pettys have publicly encouraged Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi for the adoption of a version of the SafeUT in the Sunshine State.

Attorney General Reyes spoke up regarding the resolution: 

“By designating April Kindness month, we want to encourage a little kindness to go a long way. One small act of kindness can change the trajectory of a life. In doing this we honor the legacy of those children and families in Parkland, Florida, many of whom were dedicated to acts of kindness and service and all of whom deserved more years to accomplish them. By celebrating their lives, we hopefully remind ourselves that we are all part of one large human family. We hope our challenge to other states continues a wave of kindness that will cascade over the nation and turn such tragedy into a little bit of light. Thank you to the Petty family for being an inspiration to us. Alaina has become one of our heroes for her kindness.”

The Reyes Family Foundation, The Grand America Hotel, and M. Peterson Consulting hosted the Petty Family while they were in Utah.

The resolution also challenges other states to claim the remaining months in the year to carry on the legacy of kindness and service left by those who lost their lives in this tragic incident. Two cities in Washington, Camas, and Washougal, have already declared March as their month of kindness to honor the victims of this singular act of violence.



  1. Watch the press conference here.
  2. You can read the entire resolution here:


Bipartisan Group of 54 AGs Calls on Congress to Support Victims of Child Pornography

SALT LAKE CITYToday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes led a bipartisan group of 54 state and territorial attorneys general in calling upon the United States Congress to pass legislation supporting victims of child pornography. The states of Utah and Washington led the coalition by drafting a letter which was joined by fifty-two other states and territories.

The bipartisan bill, known as The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2017, would make it easier for victims of child pornography to obtain restitution. A similar bill passed the U.S. Senate in 2015 but failed to pass the House of Representatives. The letter is directed to House and Judiciary Committee leaders. Today AG Reyes issued the following statement: 

“Victims need this bill. Child exploitation and abuse through pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide and certainly within our nation. A victim can be re-victimized his/her entire life from the dissemination of one child porn video. The number of children exploited globally has skyrocketed. The number of child porn images in the US processed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children increased by over two thousand percent in just a decade, and things have continued to get even worse,” 

“The number of illicit images confiscated in Utah by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce has grown alarmingly. Cases of youth being extorted or otherwise terrorized as victims of porn have risen exponentially everywhere. The only thing that has decreased is restitution for victims. That’s unacceptable. Congress can change that narrative by passing this law.

“I’m proud of all our colleagues who have joined us today in lending a voice to victims worldwide. It was a privilege partnering with Senator Orrin Hatch, a consistent advocate for children in need and a co-sponsor of this bill. I also want to thank those in the Utah victim advocate community. Powerful leaders like Hildegard Koenig in the Utah Office for Victims of Crime, Jim Swink from the Utah Council on Victims of Crime, University of Utah Law Professor Paul Cassell, Clay Olsen of Fight the New Drug, and Ruthie Pedregon of my office all stand up each day for victims throughout Utah.”

A 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Paroline v. United States held that while victims of child pornography are entitled to restitution, any individual defendant they sue is only liable for the harm caused by that one individual’s possession of the images.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision puts an enormous burden on victims of child pornography,” the letter from the AG coalition reads. “To receive restitution, a victim must pursue every case in which a defendant was found to possess images of the victim. As the Supreme Court recognized, digital images of each child victim are trafficked worldwide, and there may be thousands of defendants found to possess each victim’s images. As a result, victims are only able to receive a small amount of restitution from each defendant and must pursue thousands of cases to receive full restitution. Preventing victims from collecting full restitution protects defendants, who are shielded from having to pay meaningful costs to those they have harmed.”

The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act will improve the law by:

  • Clarifying congressional intent that victims be fully compensated for all the harms resulting from every perpetrator who contributed to their trauma;
  • Establishing a more meaningful definition of “full amount of a victim’s losses;”
  • Clarifying restitution owed to victims;
  • Establishing a process for victims to receive compensation from the Child Pornography Victims Reserve within the federal Crime Victims Fund;
  • Requiring a judicial appointment of a guardian ad litem for victims of child pornography production;
  • Allowing victims and their attorneys access to images in which they are depicted which is crucial for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, treatment, and the prevention and prosecution of future crimes; and
  • Requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to report on implementation within two years.

Every state attorney general in the nation signed the letter, along with attorneys general from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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  1. You can find a PDF copy of the letter at
  2. The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Utah with attorneys and staff in 20 divisions across the state. Visit to learn more.


SafeUT App Downloaded Over 5,000 Times

On the heels of the deadly attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Utah itself experienced a string of high school threats of violence that resulted in the investigations at four different schools: Box Elder Middle School, Eastmont Middle School, Wasatch High School, and Springville High School. To help raise awareness of a tool that can help, KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio yesterday invited schools across the state to participate in a effort called Stand Up for a SafeUT. The day was dedicated to  highlighting the SafeUT App, how it can help with crisis interventions, and how it has helped thousands of students already.

The SafeUT App is a statewide service that provides real-time interactions straight from your smartphone. Licensed clinicians, from the University Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of Utah Health, are available 24/7 to respond to all incoming chats, texts, and calls. They provide supportive and crisis counseling, suicide prevention, and referral services. Additionally, students can submit confidential tips to school administrators on bullying, threats, or violence. 



The SafeUT App was created out of an effort to stem the rising tide of teen suicide in the state. In 2014, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and State Senator Daniel Thatcher proposed legislation to form a commission to explore solutions. AG Reyes, Sen. Thatcher and representatives from the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), Utah Office of Education, and the School Safety and Crisis Line Commission unveiled the SafeUT Crisis & Safety Tipline for Utah students in 2016. 

Since its release, the SafeUT App has been downloaded over 33,000 times and clinicians have had conversations with over 19,000 students. The conversations range from bullying and depression to suicide, cutting, and drugs. Currently, over 1900 tips or chats are sent in on average monthly, an increase from a monthly average of 160 two years ago. In addition, the app received 107 tips about 70 potential planned school attack. Every tip is taken seriously and handled as a genuine threat to the school. Whether it turned out to be an actual attack or a misunderstood conversation, it is still reported and handled as a serious planned school attack. 



Due to the spotlight from KSL, the SafeUT App has been downloaded over 5,000 times since coverage began on Wednesday. This is a monumental step towards protecting the children of Utah, keeping them safe, and alive.

Download the SafeUT app through the Apple App Store or Google Play. 

You can learn about the SafeUT app here:

For SafeUT statistics, go here: Infographic.

For more information about suicide and its impact on young children and teens in Utah, the Utah Health Department has an entire section dedicated to information surrounding youth suicide. You can find that here: and statistical information here:

AG Reyes Co-leads NAAG Effort to Pass CLOUD Act

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes AND Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan Lead Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Pass the CLOUD Act
36 Attorneys General Join Letter Calling on Congress to Pass Law

In a bipartisan letter sponsored by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States, the National Association of Attorneys General today urged Congress to pass the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act.  The CLOUD Act would update and amend several provisions of the Stored Communications Act (SCA).

The CLOUD Act, as stated in the letter,

“confirms law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-caused based warrants for electronic communications stored abroad and creates a clear avenue for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant that targets a foreign person and which would require a provider to violate foreign law. The Act also creates incentives for our foreign partners to enter into bilateral agreements that will facilitate cross-border criminal investigations while ensuring that privacy and civil liberties are respected.”

Under the SCA, a law enforcement agency may obtain a warrant to search an individual’s email or another online account if a reviewing court finds probable cause that the account contains evidence of a crime. Once issued, an SCA warrant is served on a service provider who must then collect the requested data and provide it to law enforcement. State and local law enforcement agencies routinely use SCA warrants to investigate all manner of local crime, from drug trafficking to murder and child sexual exploitation.

Recently, however, some service providers have argued that an SCA warrant cannot be enforced when the data being sought is stored on a foreign server, even if the provider and the customer who created the data are in the United States and that data can be accessed from the United States. The providers and others have argued that requiring compliance with an SCA warrant in this situation would be an extraterritorial application of a domestic law and would raise significant privacy and international comity concerns. This dispute has spawned litigation across the country, including the case of United States v. Microsoft, which is currently pending in the United States Supreme Court. The letter urges Congress to pass the CLOUD Act as “an important step toward resolving this dispute.”

The letter was joined by the attorneys general of Vermont, Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 


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  1. Find a PDF copy of the letter at
  2. AG Sean Reyes wrote an op-ed for The Hill about privacy in a digital era. Read it here:


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