Letter to the Editor

Cell-phone monitoring is ominous

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

To the editor:

On Oct. 17 the Southeast Missourian published an editorial, "Monitoring cell phones." In it we learn that the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to "have private companies monitor motorists' cell phones as a means of tracking traffic patterns"

The Missouri League of Southern Voters would very much like to know who has given MoDOT director Pete Rahn the authority to carry out this ambitious, costly, privacy-invading plan. Information that was not included in the editorial but can be found in an Associated Press article published Oct. 17 in the Casper Star Tribune states that "it would be the biggest monitoring system of its kind in the world." Furthermore, the article states that "the Missouri and Maryland plans also assume that the contractor will market more detailed information to the private sector." The Casper Star Tribune article quotes Daniel Solove, a privacy law professor at George Washington University and author of "The Digital Person," who states: "Even though it's anonymous, it's still ominous. It troubles me, because it does show this movement toward using a technology to track people."

Please contact House Speaker Rod Jetton and demand that the legislature put a stop to this now. Jetton's address: House of Representatives, 201 W. Capitol Ave,. Room 301, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101. Capitol phone: 573-751-5912. Capitol fax: 573-526-9804. E-mail: Rod.Jetton@house.mo.gov.

CLINT E. LACY, Marble Hill, Mo.