Ohio lawmakers hot for snooping power

Proposed law would give police immediate access to anyone's location and their private cell phone records
Tom Jackson
Jun 20, 2013

A bill that would make it easier for police to obtain cell phone locations zipped through the Senate on a 32-1 vote in April, but it has now slowed down in the Ohio House.

The Ohio House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee was poised to pass the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House floor for a vote.

But the chairman, Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, agreed to delay action until at least another week. 

His decision came after an official from the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, Maurice Thompson, testified that it would allow police to obtain cell phone records without a warrant, even in non-emergency situations.

"We were just about ready to vote this bill out," Damschroder said. "This was the first time these guys showed up." 

Damschroder said he agreed to delay action to let members give the measure a closer look.

"I wanted to give the members on the committee and everybody a chance to look at the information this gentleman produced to see if it had any merit," Damschroder said.

Senate Bill 5, authored by state senators Edna Brown, a Toledo Democrat, and Gayle Manning, a North Ridgeville Republican, says cell phone providers will immediately provide the location of a cell phone customer if police are responding to the customer's emergency call, or if the police believe there is "imminent danger" of death or serious injury if the information isn't supplied right away.

The bill also says cell phone providers can set up a system to voluntarily give up the information, and can't be sued if they act in good faith with the law.

Thompson, director of the 1851 Center, says the non-emergency provisions — allowing for voluntary disclosure of the information — mean cell phone companies can make money selling cell phone information to police, even when no crime is alleged.

"The bill authorizes wireless service providers to break their voluntarily agreed-to contracts with Ohio customers, to whom they've promised privacy, and strips Ohioans of their right to enforce these contracts, or sue for damages," Thompson said in a release from the 1851 Center.

In the Senate's 32-1 vote, the only "No" was cast by state Sen. Michael Skindell, D-Lakewood.

Skindell said Wednesday that national controversy over the fact that the National Security Agency apparently collects phone records for everyone in America has focused attention on the issue of privacy versus safety.

"We cannot just give up on our liberty to obtain absolute security," said Skindell, who ran for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2012 but lost to incumbent Terrence O'Donnell.

Skindell said the normal way to handle laws such as Senate Bill 5 is to have a general rule and then allow for exceptions.

Fixing the bill would mean requiring a warrant to obtain cell phone records, but allowing police an exception in a genuine emergency. After police invoke the exception, a court should review the matter and make sure the law was followed, Skindell said.

"They do that in other warrant situations," Skindell said.

Thompson said the 1851 Center also believes the bill should be amended to require police to obtain warrants to obtain cell phone information, with an exception for emergencies.



Pterocarya frax...

So now it is the Register's fault we are getting this kind of horrific legislation from our sold out elected officials? That is way out there, Man.


"Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant"


OOPS Mr. Smith! Got some bad news for YOU.

The NSA (or other State snoopers) "accidentally" found a 'potential' illegality.

Prepare for your extensive proctology exam.

No need for a lawyer. You can TRUST us. WE’RE the government!

The Big Dog's back

Here is a list of right wing predictions that didn't pan out.

Darwin's choice

Do you want the list of Obama's failure's? I think we're allowed to post about 50,000 words, so i'll have to leave many off the list.......


Winnie, has anyone ever come right to the point and just told you "Shut up"?

The Big Dog's back



"Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden,"

Maybe Pres. Obama (The Fascist-in-Chief) wants to run that "transparency" BS by Americans AGAIN? :)



"FBI has received aviation clearance for at least four domestic drone operations"



44846GWP wins.


Looks like the Nobel Prize Winner-in-Chief may be planning to send U.S. troops to Egypt.


"They'll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air
And tell that you're eighty, but brother, you won't care,"

- David Bowie, "1984"

Darwin's choice

Big Dog, Coasterfan, 4shizzle, deertracker, you're saved......!!

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Said Sen. Dick Durbin: "As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so.""

from "commonsense" blog !


Nice post. Fits them perfect. They really will be saved. Lol