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.




Watch this.


Here we go.


The loony liberal "safety over privacy" crowd oughta love this.

Give the dopey Dems along with the righteous Repubs time and they'll have an RFID chip up everyone's tush.

Licorice Schtick

Umm.... The Ohio Senate is 73% Republican.


Re: "The Ohio Senate is 73% Republican."

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

Your point? Obviously, there's ONLY ONE sane Dem on this issue in the bunch.

Don't Dems believe that govt's GOOD???? WHAT'S the PROBLEM?


its a matter of trust , and thats something that has been in question for sometime , not only in goverment , but even in law enforcement

You have police that over step the bounds and do things that are in against the law and now this law may make it easier for them to keep doing it
its just big brother taken another right away from the very people that intrusted them to protect the rights .
Yes in some cases of emergancy like accidents medical and threat to life , this would be good , but to say that law inforcement can just get my phone records to keep me on the radar is in fact against my rights .And yes I am a law bidding resident for now , but the way things are going , its going to make it harder for me to stay in ohio.
You have radars that police use to write speeding tickets and camaras that take pictures and send you a ticket in the mail , you are no longer allowed to smoke in public places , what next ? Are we going to have to ask big brother if we can go to the store ? go to work ? are we going to have to have a chip put in us to track our movements ? , when does this end ?
And to think we voted these vary people into office , what a slap in the face

Licorice Schtick

Then there are infinitely more sane D's than R's in the Senate , by your criteria.

It looks like 24 R's voted for this, and 8 D's. Exactly 3:1. I think we agree this is a bad idea, but blaming liberals for it is just absurd. It is mostly the corporatocracy's Republican toadies who are being used to enslave Americans. They're pretty unified in their support, but there are a few Democrat toadies, too.


Re: "there are a few Democrat toadies, too."

On a fed level would you include Pres. Obama?

The Big Dog's back

So when all Repubs vote for something, and even if just 1 Dem votes for it, it's the Dems fault pooh? Interesting.


Kinda like the one drop theory!


Not sure why it would be loony to have safety as the top priority. I would counter that anyone who doesn't think safety is important is loony themselves, and should put their money where their mouth is by volunteering their services as a bomb-sniffing dog. Can we all agree that Contango should be first in line?

The Big Dog's back



We can put you both in a pen and keep you safe from the wolves if that's what would make you feel better.


Coasterfan, your statement betrays a mathematically illiterate conception of safety and risk.

Safety is A priority, but not the only one. For instance, there are many circumstances where slaves would be safer than free people. Life consists not of digital events, but of analog spectrums, all of which involve diminishing returns at the margins. We could virtually eliminate traffic deaths by mandating that no vehicle be capable of exceeding 5 mph, but at what cost to society in the hours lost getting places, to say nothing of the lives lost if the limitation applies to emergency vehicles, which it must if it is to truly make traffic safety universal? There are tradeoffs in everything.

Freedom comes with the cost of increased risk, and every expansion of freedom comes with a commensurate increment in risk.
Every day, normal, ostensibly reasonable people choose to prioritize some pretty frivolous things over safety.

- "Seatbelts wrinkle my clothes."
- I can't begin to count the number of lawnmowers I've seen with the engine kill bar duct taped down to the handle for convenience.
- Simply entering a pool or the lake increases risk and decrements safety in the name of recreation, as does getting on a boat or bicycle.
-Many foods taste pretty awful when cooked so as to eliminate the risk of food-borne illness.

Most thinking people would agree that esthetics, convenience, and entertainment are more frivolous pursuits tnan human freedom and dignity, and yet people take myriad risks for these causes, proving that an absolute prioritization of safety is not rhe norm among reasonable people.


Re: "lawnmowers I've seen with the engine kill bar duct taped down to the handle"

I prefer a bungee cord.

Licorice Schtick

I made a clip from coat hanger wire. Safer mowing, yet could flick the clip on to move the pet turtle out of the way without shutting down.


Re: "Not sure why it would be loony to have safety as the top priority."

History teaches us: If this power CAN be abused - it WILL be abused.

Spread 'em wide for your RFID chip insertion. It's for your OWN safety. :)

Licorice Schtick

We have a pretty good balance when it comes to auto safety. Can you imagine cars today with no seat belts, no air bags, no crash survivability? Opposing ALL regulation because it will surely lead to TOO MUCH regulation has not really proved justified.

The reactionaries have a Chicken Little problem, they squawk about non-threats; then when a real hazard to freedom comes along, they find themselves in an echo chamber with no one else listening. And their strings are pulled by the corporatocracy, which is allowed tombe careless, reckless and abusive with far more personal and private information than government will ever be able to collect. You guys are being had.


Re: "We have a pretty good balance when it comes to auto safety."

"Pretty good"? A waffling qualifier.

Are you looking forward to when all vehicles are required to have black boxes which can then be used AND abused by insurance cos., authorities, et. al?

You might wanna read, FA Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom."

ANY well intended legislation WILL eventually be abused.

i.e.: Better hope that those "well intentioned" Progressives stay in power FOREVER. :)


Re: "And their strings are pulled by the corporatocracy, which is allowed tombe careless, reckless and abusive with far more personal and private information than government will ever be able to collect."


In a free market society, one can CHOOSE whether or not to use a product or service.

In a centrally planned society, the CHOICE is made (and forced) for the so-called betterment of all.

The Big Dog's back



Licorice, most of those safety innovations came not from government regulators, but from an entrepenuer named Anton Tucker, who attempted to be a classic market disruptor to bring about positive change. The industry actually leveraged Big Government anti-free market regulations to stop him, and delay the introduction of those safety improvements by at least a decade.

I can certainly imagine cars with no airbags. I would choose to buy one if I could, because, for those who always buckle up, they are often a net safety reducer. Of course, the nannystate won't let me choose for myself.

2cents's picture

Oh god no! They will now tax us for not only consumption but for excreation based on the RFID data logged . I see it now, getting a bill for sewer use, water use and a new paper tax will follow : )

The Brownie Elf

If they want to find me, I'll be watching American Pickers and re-runs of the Sopranos on my couch.

2cents's picture

At least your phone will while your out robbing a bank! Great aliby!


This bill is much worse than anything the NSA is even suspected of doing.

In the past, we know from experience that anyone with an unscrupulous buddy inside a police department could get info on anyone for private purposes. The danger of abuse by private and corporate interests is even scarier that any by the government.

Skindell has it right. This bill needs the safeguards he asks for. And in addition, penalties for abuse need to be on par with federal wiretap violations.


Re: "The danger of abuse by private and corporate interests is even scarier that any by the government.”


"Private and corp. interests" don't have the power or authority to throw individuals in jail without a Writ (NDAA), nor can they confiscate your property or levy fines and penalties against them.

Licorice Schtick

Nonsense. The NSA can't do that. Other government agencies already can; they don't need this bill to do so.


Re: "The NSA can't do that."

What's the NSA got to do with this? Loony!

As an example, I wrote NDAA as the extent of the power of govt. Private entities and corps don't arrest individuals.

RE: "they don't need this bill to do so."

Right, just another extention of governmental power with it's possible and potential abuse.

So are you for this or against?


The way its worded , I am against it

Licorice Schtick

Really don't understand how something this bad could get this many votes. Gotta be more to the story..

Licorice Schtick

Of course I'm against it. If you weren't so hostile to my viewpoints you don't like, you might be surprised about what we agree on. Libertarians and Liberals oppose this. Right wingers aligned with Libertarians would oppose this. It's cowards that like it. And the Bushist corporatists you pimp for that like it, because they have the money to exploit it while protecting themselves from abuse.

"What's the NSA got to do with this?" Uh... have you may noticed that the NSA has been in the news lately regarding alleged privacy abuses?

What's loony is blaming liberals for this.


Again: What's the NSA got to do with this?

The article is about state law not fed.

Loony libs? THAT would equate to the 99% of the OH Dem Senators who support this legislation.


But the NSA snooping would make it easier for those other agencies to find you when they want to do those things.


Just found out that the word Contango is a synonym for imaginary-conspiracy-each-day

Darwin's choice

Just found out that the name Coasterfan is a synonym for blowing smoke!

What's Obama's approval number today?

The Big Dog's back

Obama's Approval Rating Down After Photos Surface Of Him Eating Big Sandwich All Alone

The Big Dog's back

President Barack Obama's job approval rating slipped slightly to 49 percent in June despite controversies over National Security Agency surveillance and the IRS targeting of conservative groups, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Oh, and fewer Americans are using the word "socialist" now than in early 2009 as a one-word description for Obama, Pew found.
Obama's job approval was 51 percent in May, Pew said. And the proportion of Americans disapproving of the job he's doing stayed steady at 43 percent in both May and June.
While just 11 percent of Americans in 2012 said the economy was in excellent or good shape, that number has surged to 23 percent—the highest level since January 2008, Pew found. Thirty-five percent say the economy will get better one year from now, against 19 percent who say things will be worse. In March, more respondents said it would be worse (32 percent) than better (25 percent).

Darwin's choice

To quote you "bullspit"....

The Big Dog's back

I guess you and the rest of the right wingnuts can quit talking about approval ratings now.

Darwin's choice

Do you get all your information from "Pew"? Just the name of your source smells fishy! But, whatever lets you sleep at night! What does "Pew" say about the 47 million on welfare/assistance?

The Big Dog's back

rasmussen also said Romney was going to win.


"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."

"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."

And the powers that be in Ohio try to take away more freedoms.

Really are you ...

Geese. This is all bad. Can't we all just get along. If you don't learn from the past, you will repeat the same mistakes in the future. This is WWII German propaganda at its best. Instead of informants turning people on people. Our own peace officers, police officers, would have the power to throw anyone in jail. Say you had an argument with your spouse, and you had text something out of anger. It is there in a text and it won't go away, it is a personal threat, off to jail. Garbage rolls downhill. What was exactly negotiated behind closed doors with the NSA that gives the State of Ohio the belief that this intrusion into our private lives as something that is acceptable. More charges maybe? Pulled over for a lane violation, O' drugs found, hey lets go through your cell phone. That could be good though, by indentifying users, dealers,and suppliers.


HOW IS IT the ELECTED MORONS didn't see the OBVIOUS PROBLEMS until ONE SANE PERSON showed up to point it out




Excellent comment!

It is one of many reasons why Ohio is a very corrupt state. Even the Ohio Supreme Court can't figure out Ohio's laws.



No, that is not my opinion but IS the opinion of a HUGE portion of the US who thinks that a majority vote or opinion polls can overturn the bill of rights. Most vote democrat also,


Those that are willing to sacrifice the freedoms and rights of themselves and others for the sake of safety and security do not deserve freedoms nor rights or safety nor security.


"I will tell you that our footprint is small." This from a guy with the **I regarding drone use on American soil. Trust your government? Ask a Red man.


"Trust your government? Ask a Red man."

Another excellent comment. Those treaties with the Native Americans were written on toilet paper.

Licorice Schtick

Tyranny of the majority. Protecting minorities is a liberal concept that everyone but fascists at some level at least gives lip service to. Freedom of speech is about allowing the expression of a minority opinion, freedom of religion is about the right to believe something a little different, etc.

In the case of First Peoples, greed won and justice lost. But the right keeps trying to tell us that greed is good.


Re: "Protecting minorities is a liberal concept that everyone but fascists at some level at least gives lip service to."

Confusion of terminology.

The Fabian Socialist Progressives have appropriate and misconstrued the term "liberal."

Try "classical liberalism" which is more akin to libertarianism.

The American aboriginal culture was grossly incompatible with European culture. He who has the most guns wins.

Pres. Jackson moved 'em out and eventually Gen. Sherman starved 'em onto the reservations.

The Big Dog's back

You have a warped sense of history. I've seen it for awhile out of you. Now more and more people are seeing it.

Darwin's choice

"President BARACK OBAMA was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York.

He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. He referred to his time as a U.S. Senator and how he had voted for every Native American issue that came to the floor of the Senate. Although President Obama was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke eloquently about his ideas for helping his "Red sisters and brothers".

At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented Obama with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name,"Walking Eagle". The proud President Obama accepted the plaque and then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds.

A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the President. They explained that "Walking Eagle" is the name given to a bird so full of shat it can no longer fly."

Pterocarya frax...

Don't ever let the truth get in the way of a good story for you. That has been around for a long time with a lot of leader's names attached to it....Bush, Kerry, Clinton:


Perhaps you should be awarded the walking eagle award.

Darwin's choice

When the shoe fits.....

The Big Dog's back

Wow durwood, duped again.

Darwin's choice

Childish, as usual! However,no matter the named person, or timeline previously used, truth of the matter is obama is full of crap and a failure! Gloat on that!

The Big Dog's back

Did you read the list of right wingnut predictions that didn't come true?


just leave it up to the sandusky register and not let us know when and where to vote, that way the register just may think this could help them. The register FAILED.

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......!!

"President Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said California Sen. Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack any job skills, making this agency the single largest U.S. employer of Persons With No Ability.

Private-sector industries with good records of non-discrimination against the inept include retail sales (72 percent), the airline industry (68 percent), and home-improvement warehouse stores (65 percent). At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given so as to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, "Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?"

"As a non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. "This new law should be real good for people like me." With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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