Civil Liberties

If They Can Spy on Crystal Bowersox, How Can The Rest of Us Feel Safe?


American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox gained national acclaim belting out her style of folksy blues on the popular TV show.

But some of the attention the Toledo-area singer received back home in Ohio was unflattering, as police and others improperly checked to see if she had a criminal record or blemishes on her driving record.

From computers with access to personal information in confidential state databases, employees of five police agencies and a municipal court rummaged through Bowersox's background.

And in Columbus, an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles clerk examined vehicles registered in the performer's name, and the home computer of an assistant city prosecutor was used to check on the newly minted star….

The Bowersox checks are reminiscent of a case two years ago, when The Dispatch reported that state computers were improperly tapped for personal information on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber." Conducting a background check for an unauthorized purpose is illegal.

This sure makes you feel comfortable about the gummint having more and more of your life in their databases, doesn't it? The punishments against the malefactors ranged from two weeks' suspensions to written reprimands. That'll teach 'em!

Whole story here.

Hat Tip: recidivist commenter Citizen Nothing.