Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Privacy bills make early appearance

The Pink Dome reports that the Texas House today passed its first bill of the session, HB 160 by McCall. P.D. doesn't think much of it, but Grits examined the bill not long ago, and I really liked it. The best part: it bans police from accessing without a court order (improved in the committee substitute from a "subpoena") any tracking information your vehicle might send to a commerical service via an OnStar-type navigation system, which comes standard in many new cars and a lot of rentals.

Up tomorrow in the House: HB 259 by Elkins, which would ban the use of cameras to give tickets to red light runners. See here, here, here, here and here for earlier Grits coverage.

So two of the first bills up in the Texas House are essentially pro-privacy, pro-bill-of-rights, anti-government surveillance bills. That's an interesting twist.

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