"We're giving it to the State Police, for God's sake"
Wednesday, June 21, 2006 :::
That's Del. Dave Albo, defending a provision in the state's new sex offender law that requiring Virginia colleges and universities to turn over personal information on incoming students to the state police, who will then see if any of them show up on the sex offender registry.
Especially considering the state police do not seem to have a clue as to how any of this information will be protected:
Lt. Thomas Turner, with the State Police's information services division, said the agency was trying to come up with a secure and efficient way to exchange the information.
The agency also is discussing whether to put college enrollment information on the on line registry, Turner said.
So the information must be turned over beginning July 1. But state authorities have until January 1 to create guidelines for what information will be turned over. And along the way, the state must devise a way to secure that information, which recent history has shown is problematic, at the very least.
The most striking thing, however, is not Del. Albo's inherent faith in turning information over to state authorities (for God's sake). Even though his phrasing should send chills down the spine of everyone who prizes their liberty, it is actually the seeming willingness of university officials to comply that is troubling:
"We have some work to do," said John R. Broderick, Old Dominion University's vice president for institutional advancement. "We will certainly comply. I think all of us would have a hard time explaining to a parent that we wouldn't be willing to provide that information to ensure the additional safety of their child."
The eagerness of school officials to comply with hypotheticals, or to prostrate themselves before the most hysterical improbabilities never ceases to amaze me.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 6/21/2006