September 10 2013
Time to Pull the Plug on Government Spying on Citizens
Vicki E. Alger
Recall back in 2005 when then Sen. Barack Obama urged “an end to government fishing expeditions” against American citizens? Or in 2007 when Sen. Obama promised that as President, his administration would be the “most transparent and accountable administration in history”? He even put out a nifty memo to all the heads of his executive offices and agencies once he was elected about his commitment to transparency.
My, how things have changed. As the Washington Examiner reports:
Serious allegations are being raised in the legal community that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recruited the U.S. Trustee Program to collect bankruptcy data on its behalf to aid a controversial data-mining program.
Documents obtained by the Washington Examiner describe efforts by the CFPB to collect a decade's worth of private financial data on the consumer behavior of five million American citizens without their knowledge or consent.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in 2011 to “protect families from unfair, deceptive, and abusive financial practices.” Judicial Watch obtained the original CFPB documents this summer, and noted they reveal:
…the agency has spent millions of dollars for the warrantless collection and analysis of Americans’ financial transactions. The documents also reveal that CFPB contractors may be required to share the information with 'additional government entities.'
Specifically the CFPB has:
…a massive credit file data collection program on some 5 million Americans without their consent, including credit scores, purchases, ZIP code, year of birth, and a ‘persistent consumer identifier making it possible to follow consumers over time’ …
Data mining and government snooping is on the rise, including NSA eavesdropping on our phone calls and tracking our Internet searches. Maybe that’s why the NSA’s getting new facilities that will be seven times bigger than the Pentagon. That’s not all. The Obama administration is also collecting all sorts of personal information through Common Core national standards assessments taken by schoolchildren.
It’s time to pull the plug on government spying on citizens.