Thursday, March 14, 2013

Buyer Beware

Trey Smith


You know, it's a good thing to be a conscientious shopper. Not only should a consumer be aware of the ingredients of a product or the people who manufacture it, but folks who don't plan out their shopping tend to purchase products and services on impulse and this can lead to financial difficulties down the road. But there now is another reason we consumers should be very thoughtful when making purchases: Big Brother may be looking over our shoulder!
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.
It's one thing to target the financial data of suspected criminals, but it's quite another thing to subject law-abiding citizens suspected of nothing illegal to such scrutiny. For all the defense of the 2nd Amendment viz-a-viz the right to bear arms, doesn't this sound like a clear attack on the 4th Amendment? Said amendment begins thusly,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...
I don't know about you, but I consider searching through everyone's financial data to be the very definition of "unreasonable searches and seizures."

What is private anymore? Through various legislation, the feds regularly read our emails and record our phone calls. They can search our residences without even informing us. They can compel our ISPs and the search engines we utilize to turn over data about us. Heck, they even can order libraries to cough up a list of the materials we check out. Now they are set to allow the CIA to pour through our bank accounts.

What more evidence do you need before you recognize that we are living in a police state?

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