Government computers used to investigate Joe the Plumber

The Ohio state patrol is looking into why, shortly after the third presidential debate, its motor vehicle database was used to investigate Joe the Plumber:

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became part of the national political lexicon Oct. 15 when Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned him frequently during his final debate with Democrat Barack Obama.

The 34-year-old from the Toledo suburb of Holland is held out by McCain as an example of an American who would be harmed by Obama’s tax proposals.

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver’s license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

(Via LGF.)

This is what happens to you when you ask Obama a tough question (at your own home!), and these yahoos aren’t even elected yet.

Advertisements

One Response to Government computers used to investigate Joe the Plumber

  1. This story illustrates the unprecedented transparency that technology is bringing to society. Just as (allegedly) Plumber Joe’s privacy was breached, access logs in Ohio’s information systems show when his data was accessed and from which particular government offices. That’s powerful stuff. Data logs can probably enable a deeper investigation into precisely who made the access and whether it was legal. If people acted illegally, the digital evidence can lead to their punishment. Such transparency represents a big trend in society http://hack-igations.blogspot.com/2007/12/people-in-authority-sometimes-abuse.html –Ben

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s