Wednesday, October 07, 2009

RELEASE: Burke Works to Protect Ohioans, Covers Hole in Law That Addresses Wiretapping

COLUMBUS— State Representative Dave Burke (R- Marysville) today announced legislation to prohibit the use of electronic tracking devices to determine the location or movement of a person without that person’s consent.

House Bill 304 was prompted by a constituent who was told after going into a grocery store that a man got out of a black van and crawled underneath her car and attached a black box to it before driving away. Fearing the box was a bomb, the woman called the authorities who discovered it was a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device. Currently, it is not illegal for anyone to place a GPS tracking device on anyone else’s vehicle in Ohio.

“It should be the goal of all elected officials in Ohio to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Burke said. “In the case of our legislation, we are sending a message to all current and future residents of Ohio that liberty still means something and our elected leaders will fight to preserve it.”

When signed into law, this crucial legislation will provide a search warrant to law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or other authorized individuals for the installation, use and removal of a tracking device under specified conditions. Additionally, the same use would be sanctioned without a search warrant in emergency situations under certain terms.

Burke’s office has actively engaged law enforcement and judiciary groups for their feedback on the initiative and plans to hold stakeholder meetings in the coming weeks. The bill will now be assigned to a committee where further discussion will occur.

Ohio HB 304 - Burke