Americans’ personal data shared with CIA, IRS, others in security probe


#1

This investigative report is from McClatchy News:
U.S. agencies collected and shared the personal information of thousands of Americans in an attempt to root out untrustworthy federal workers that ended up scrutinizing people who had no direct ties to the U.S. government and simply had purchased certain books.

Federal officials gathered the information from the customer records of two men who were under criminal investigation for purportedly teaching people how to pass lie detector tests. The officials then distributed a list of 4,904 people – along with many of their Social Security numbers, addresses and professions – to nearly 30 federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
So let’s see if I have this straight: they are going to collect scan records to see if I bought the wrong book? And if I bought this book, I will be unable to get a job with that agency?


#2

So what, apart from being in the military services, why would anyone want to work for the government, unless they were congenitally lazy? In today’s economy, working for the government on any level does not guarantee steady employment.
The fact that the government might be spying on you plus $1.00 will buy you a cup of coffee in most places. So why worry, unless you are indeed disloyal or a spy?
As for the privacy issue, I defy anyone to show me where a right to privacy is in the U.S.
Constitution. This “right” is a myth promulgated by left wing politicians and the popular press.


#3

Lying to a government agent is a crime. All these people were conspiring to commit a crime by lying during a lie detector exam done by a government agent.


#4

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:2, topic:345235"]
So what, apart from being in the military services, why would anyone want to work for the government, unless they were congenitally lazy? In today's economy, working for the government on any level does not guarantee steady employment.
The fact that the government might be spying on you plus $1.00 will buy you a cup of coffee in most places. So why worry, unless you are indeed disloyal or a spy?
As for the privacy issue, I defy anyone to show me where a right to privacy is in the U.S.
Constitution. This "right" is a myth promulgated by left wing politicians and the popular press.

[/quote]

[quote="tjones80, post:3, topic:345235"]
Lying to a government agent is a crime. All these people were conspiring to commit a crime by lying during a lie detector exam done by a government agent.

[/quote]

So then I guess it would be OK for the government to provide LE offices and the ATF the names and profiles of people who buy books on reloading ammo? Because those people are more likely to be well armed and able to resist?

Or, perhaps, it would be OK to provide the names and profiles of people who buy pro-life books to the FBI because those people are more likely to bomb abortion clinics? Or to provide the names of people who buy books supporting traditional marriage to the HRC because they're more likely to be "homophobic"?

The attitude, "I don't care about government surveillance...I have nothing to hide," (expressed or implied) is what has gotten us into this big brother world we're in.


#5

Exactly! Most of this data gathering and sharing is done without any thought or real reason. Every agency is now a “spy” agency - collecting and then distributing data about whoever interacts with them, on whatever paltry reason they come up with. There is no standard held to not even “probable cause.”

From the Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

There are normal, consistently held expectations of privacy in this country. One is that information given to a government agency isn’t shared beyond what is strictly necessary for that agency to carry out the business it was erected to do. The other is that mail is private - and before recently - people naturally extended that to modern forms of communication like email and texts. We have pejorative words like “snooping” for a reason.


#6

These alphabet agencies pose a far greater threat to the American people, than any 'alleged' ones that they're suppose to protect us from.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.