The Associated Press (AP) reported on June 9th that some in the U.S. Government are alarmed by the use of hard-to-track prepaid cellular telephones by terror suspects. Apparently, the use of prepaid cell phones may make it harder for law enforcement to track phone calls made by people who have been targeted for government eavesdropping. Also, cell phones are sometimes used as a device to trigger a bomb remotely.
While many would say we have bigger things to worry about, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) say the risk is so great that they introduced bi-partisan legislation requiring consumers to produce identification before buying these phones. In other words, they feel the risk is so high that they believe we need controls similar to those in place for purchasing a rifle or hand gun. Today, few types of purchases made by adults require us to produce identification. While this federal cell phone bill has been praised by some law enforcement officials, certain civil liberties groups have raised “privacy concerns”, and some terror experts say “it won’t deter bad behavior”.
Interestingly, this is the same Senator Schumer who asked the Governor of Arizona in May 2010 to delay implementation of their new immigration control law by 12 months to July 2011. In a letter to Governor Jan Brewer dated May 6th , Schumer wrote that he opposed the law because it is, “wrong-hearted and is likely unconstitutional, but also because it will almost certainly fail to reduce illegal immigration into Arizona”. Many on the left who have not read the Arizona bill actually denounce it as discriminatory. Specifically, they object to requiring undocumented individuals to produce documentation showing their right to be in Arizona legally when stopped for other reasons. So instead of stopping potential terrorists at our borders, Schumer plans to stop them when they buy their cell phones. What a great way to control crime!
Does it make sense that you may be required by the government to produce identification to purchase a prepaid cell phone for your son or daughter, but not have to identify yourself when you go to vote for those U.S. officials entrusted to spend $3.5 trillion each year on your behalf? But what if you claim to be an undocumented immigrant? Will Schumer exempt people from having to produce a driver’s license to buy a prepaid cell phone, since asking someone to produce identification is “racist”? If the undocumented residents don’t have a license to purchase a prepaid phone, and also have no credit history and no legal income to purchase a regular cell phone, how will they communicate?
While our country goes bankrupt and the southern States struggle with securing their borders, our U.S. Senators are spending their time drafting and pushing worthless laws that only restrict your freedoms and do nothing to reduce crime or terrorism. Perhaps some “new blood” in the Senate will turn this situation around.