Monday, June 13, 2011
Government Demands Citizens Give Them Keys To Property In case of Emergency
It would seem that some local governments are taking the phrase "never let a good crisis go to waste" to heart.
According to an article in World Net Daily, Cedar Falls Iowa wants business and apartment buildings to post their keys in a little box outside so that authorities can get access in case of emergencies:
"The government of a Midwest college town is poised to require the city's businesses and apartment buildings to post their keys outside, so that authorities can enter the properties "in case of emergency."
According to the Cedar Falls City Council, the plan to require property owners to post keys in designated lockboxes – that city officials can open with a master key – is a justified way to allow the fire department and other authorities access without breaking down doors, especially in cases of false alarms.
To many Cedar Falls citizens, however, giving the city keys to their businesses and homes is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment's private property rights and a plan fraught with potential for abuse.
"What gives you guys the right?" asked an unidentified citizen at a May 23 public hearing on the plan. "This opens a big can of worms into the intrusion of our private property and our rights."
"Apparently this box is going to be universal, and that's going to have everyone's apartment keys," posited yet another.
The discussion led resident Carol Hanson to ask, "What if a key is stolen?"
The unfunded mandate, known as City Ordinance 2740, has already been approved in two of the three council votes needed to enact it, including a 6-1 vote in the May 23 council meeting.
Councilman Nick Taiber, the lone dissenting vote in the last meeting, explains his objection: "I think that we have not duly considered all the privacy and Fourth Amendment issues that come along with having the keys of your business or to your home on the front of your property."
Judd Saul, a leading opponent of the proposed ordinance, told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier he believes the measure is unconstitutional and, "If it does pass, we are going to file a lawsuit."
Here is a video of dissenting opinions at the city meeting discussing this measure in May:
This appears to be a slippery slope where once you give up a little of your privacy, the Government always wants more.