Thursday, January 12, 2006

What is your name?

It never occured to me that it could be illegal for a police office to ask, What is your name? Until recently, it was illegal in Ohio. Now that it's not, the ACLU and others find this simple question a breach of civil liberties.

Passed by the state legislature as a tool to fight terrorism, the ACLU akins the Ohio Patriot Act to McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

The bill now allows police officers to "ask, 'What's your name?' ... Failure to identify oneself could land an individual in jail." An additional provision in the bill "instructs local law enforcement to lend assistance when able to federal authorities carrying out provisions of the Patriot Act." Once inacted, anyone who applies for an Ohio driver's license must "sign a form that they haven't supported terrorist organizations."

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