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Ohio Legislature: Kill this bill

Register • Jun 29, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Maybe Ohio lawmakers just don't get it. 

A proposal that would make it almost effortless for police to get phone records and GPS location information for anyone with a cell phone, anytime, breezed through the Ohio Senate by a 32-1 vote in April. A House committee was set to send the bill to the House floor last week for a vote, but cooler heads prevailed, at least for now.

State Rep. Rex Damschroeder put the brakes on it, after objections were raised that it would allow police unfettered access to private phone records and also allow phone companies to break their privacy contracts with customers without any repercussions. 

We're not sure whether Ohio lawmakers are just oblivious to the U.S. Constitution, don't care about privacy rights, or whether they simply don't have a clue to the invasive power they are contemplating giving to law enforcement. Americans already are concerned and distressed with the scope of federal NSA phone records data collection and spying activities, and there are no national security risks in this state effort. 

There also is no demand from anyone for these increased police powers and we cannot see any need for it, either. We're having difficulty fathoming that there could be any reason that warrants this action. 

We worry Ohio lawmakers are on the bandwagon with the effort to chip away at personal liberty in the name of security and that it's all smoke and mirrors. It's either that, or they are pushing forward legislation in a mindless and dangerous way. 

Kill this bill.

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