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[s49] LTE: Privacy Is Important Too, By Sen. Tomes

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin


Often, I hear people my age say they worry about what their grandchildren will face in our country. They are growing up in an era of less freedom and less privacy. For them, it will “always have been this way.” Since they will never know what liberty and absence of government we had in our lives growing up, they'll not be able to understand what once was and is now never more.
Even making common cold medicines into prescription drugs — which I oppose — is just one drop in the bucket compared to the acceptance by so many that, to combat crime, the innocent must also sacrifice and accept inconveniences. I ask, why should they?  Oh, I remember now. It’s to keep us safe and secure.
That's why we have so much surveillance in our daily lives.  News stories — like a recent one from the Wall Street Journal that shows how automated license-plate tracking technology utilized by law enforcement can track your driving habits and routes — point out that we are living under a microscope.  What’s more alarming, though, is that so many people don't care and others welcome it.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on legislation that could limit the accessibility and use of drones on our civilian population in Indiana. Learning about the unlimited uses of these aircrafts and the intention of making them available to so many organizations and individuals has been interesting. We're not talking about recreational radio-controlled airplanes. These unmanned aerial vehicles have the ability to record what’s happening on the ground — even in the privacy of our personal property — for the eyes and ears of whoever owns them. Some Congressional members realize this as well and are crafting legislation at the federal level.
There are so many issues that are important at the federal, state and local levels: jobs, the economy, foreign affairs, education, taxes, environment, mental health, housing, health care etc. I am working on some of those, too, but personal privacy must not be forgotten.
I hope there are officials and citizens in this state who appreciate that relinquishing freedom and liberty for hollow promises is not a price they are willing to pay. When I took the office of State Senate, I swore an oath — just as I did when I was inducted into the military — to uphold and defend the Constitution.  I will continue to do so.


State Senator Jim Tomes