Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sheriffs want N.C. to spill the pills

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM

What’s next from law enforcement busybodies? First, the Patriot Act let Johnny Law look through your library records. Then, the SBI twisted and tugged at evidence until it gave them enough to attain unjust convictions. Now, sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records in order to find out who has prescriptions for painkillers “and other controlled substances.” No matter how many people are abusing prescription painkillers, the sheriffs’ request is such an outlandish breach of citizen privacy, I won’t bother making a detailed argument against it (which is done, in any case, by representatives of sanity in the linked article). Instead, I’m wondering whose privacy they’ll want to invade next.

Maybe after taking care of the prescription drug abuse problem by peeking in everyone’s medicine cabinet, they’ll start working on the domestic abuse problem by combing through Walmart’s sales of men’s wifebeater-style undershirts. Or they can solve the speeding driver problem by looking at car dealer records to find out who’s buying the fastest cars. Or hey, they could help catch those horrid people who don’t recycle properly by installing tiny cameras inside each household’s bin. The opportunities for law enforcement folks to stick their noses into everyone’s private business are endless. Seriously, I can understand that they’re always looking for an advantage in dealing with criminals. But it’s up to the rest of us to make sure they don’t go overboard, such as, ohh, looking through everyone’s medical records.

Sir, could we please see your receipt for that wifebeater?
  • Sir, could we please see your receipt for that wifebeater?

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