Confirmed- Austin Energy Providing Customer Data To Austin Police

I can now confirm that Austin Police have access to Austin Energy customer usage information. The City of Austin, in response to my open records request, turned over an agreement titled “Utility Database Confidentiality Agreement.” This agreement gives Austin PD the right to search Austin Energy customer information without a warrant.

Here is the history. I received an email from the NORML listserv. An Austin resident was concerned the police were using customer information from Austin Energy. Allegedly, Austin PD was using electricity bills to get search warrants for marijuana grow operations. I, along with ACLU Texas, filed open information requests to confirm this story.

The City of Austin withheld further information pending an AG opinion. For those who are not familiar with Open Records requests, Attorney General Opinions are often sought to delay releasing information.

The City of Austin claims they will not release further information because it would “permit private citizens to anticipate weakness in a police department, avoid detection, jeopardize officer safety, and generally undermine police efforts to effectuate the laws of the State.”

It is a sad day for freedom when your power company become an agent for law enforcement. Is the danger from cannabis so great that we must give up our privacy?

The War on Drugs makes us all less safe and less free. Austin Police have 127 unsolved murders they could be working on. Instead they are wasting resources on indoor pot farms. Unplug your tanning bed and hot tub or else expect Austin SWAT to visit.

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6 responses to “Confirmed- Austin Energy Providing Customer Data To Austin Police”

  1. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    Mr. Guest — That’s ridiculous. As a resident of Austin, I’m outraged. Who do we file a complaint with?

  2. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    Good Question-1. Switch Electric Companies. Let Austin Energy know why.2. File your own open records request with Austin PD. See if anyone has looked at your electricity bill.3. Vote for new leadership on the city council. Demand a new city manager. They are responsible for this and should be held accountable.4. Quit voting for any politician who supports Cannabis Prohibition. It is a disaster. The tide is turning against it. Vote, donate, speak out.

  3. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    It’s too late people. The 4th Amendment is dead. Finis. There is no going back. Warrants and buggy whips now share a common trajectory. If you smoke marijauna you’re in league with al Qaida. If you read pornography you’re in league with al Qaida. Everything you do means possibly somehow, some way you’re a potential terrorist. Consequently every movement you make is exempt from 4th Amendment protections. Get used to it. This will not change.

  4. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    it is unlikely that Austin energy is the only one doing this. Start checking your local power company because I bet many of the local “gas and electric” companies across the US are doing the same.

  5. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    To know why the drug war should be stopped go to http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php.Thanks.Eric420

  6. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    Unfortunately, Robert, you can’t switch electric companies if you live in the city as Austin, San Antonio, and other municipal and cooperative utilities were exempted from electricity deregulation.The closest thing you could do would be to hook up with a company like citizenre that rents solar power to you through net metering. However, this is a fairly limited option given the demand that targeted users would likely be generating. Having said that, with a large enough roof, you might be able to squeeze in under the radar. Maybe.

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