Ohio Lawmaker Wants To Allow Parents To Wiretap Children's Cell Phone Conversations


UPDATED: Tuesday February 5, 2013 6:37 PM

An Ohio lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would allow parents to wiretap their child’s cell phone conversations to be used in court.

Republican State Rep. Brian Hill said that he planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday.

Hill said that he believes a law on the books could help prevent another school shooting.

Others said that they think the bill goes too far.

Felix Trent said his step-daughter was getting harassed online.

“He was harassing her by showing pictures of her,” Trent said. “Pictures of her with her panties and bra.”

Trent said he had to get a restraining order to stop the posts, but it took months. He said that parents need more tools to track who their children interact with online.

Hill, who represents Guernsey County and parts of Muskingum County, said that parents have to step in.

He calls his proposal a “communication intercepting bill.”

“Whenever safety is involved, parents need the right to protect their children,” Hill said.

Hill said that parents even could intercept phone calls.

Defense Attorney Harry Reinhart said that the bill is all about wiretapping.

“Is the perceived harm here that this legislation is trying to prevent worth the guaranteed violation of every cell phone telephone callers’ privacy rights?” Reinhart said.

Reinhart said that only law enforcement and prosecutors can secretly record conversations and use them as evidence in court.

Hill said he wants that expanded to include parents.

“All the school violence that’s going on, it seems like parents ought to be more involved and not have to worry about, ‘Can I or can’t I track my child’s activity,’” Hill said.

Trent said he supports the proposed legislation.

“Boys these days are going crazy over girls,” Trent said. “I think that’s a good idea to keep your children safe from guys like this.”

Under the bill, only parents or guardians would be allowed to track online or cell phone communications of a minor under the age of 18.

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