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RIP: The right to privacy in America

CaptureThe United States of America has reached the nightmare levels outlined in George Orwell’s famous classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell wrote of a “big brother” government with constant surveillance of individuals, who are persecuted for independent thinking and not allowed any sort of privacy. These draconian policies are carried out by a massive government bureaucracy all in the name of the “greater good.”

In our country today, our federal government has become Orwellian. It continues to grow with reckless abandon. Our national debt is approaching $17 trillion as more people become dependent on government services to survive. A shocking 90 million Americans are not involved in the labor force as nine million Americans are receiving disability payments and almost 50 million Americans are forced to accept food stamps.

Sadly, both the private sector and the concept of privacy are under attack. In the last labor report, a mere 88,000 jobs were created while 663,000 people exited the workforce due to frustration, retirement or disability.

In the toxic environment, our federal government is expanding and it is becoming harder to earn a living in the private sector and remain free of government control. This will only get worse in 2014. The President’s healthcare plan will extend the reach of government to over 20% of our economy. This is being done without the support of the American people and the very effort may cripple our healthcare industry.

This week, gun control legislation is moving through Congress with Republican support. It will create universal background checks and will be ineffective without a national registry of guns, which the President supports.

On Thursday, it was revealed that the IRS has the right to review email communications. This shocking disclosure was condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike. The IRS contends that it does not need a court order or any type of approval to examine the electronic correspondence, including text messages, of unsuspecting Americans.  This extensive attack on privacy is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Clearly, to review text messages or emails the government should obtain a warrant and it should be limited to terrorist suspects. The assault on privacy was accelerated by the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; however, these new IRS powers are taking government surveillance to an entirely new level.

The IRS claims that Americans do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy in such communication.” This assertion is unwelcome news to millions of Americans who do indeed expect their electronic communications to be free from government oversight.

U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) said that the revelation is “an affront not only to our system of checks and balances, but also to our fundamental right to privacy.”  Udall said that this IRS power is an “overreach.” He is imploring his colleagues to overhaul the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Obviously, this act needs to be strengthened at a minimum to deal with new forms of Internet usage and communication. For example, IRS agents are also being accused of checking Facebook postings of Americans without permission.

In our Orwellian state today, Americans are constantly being monitored by cameras, drones and other types of security measures. While this is being done in the name of keeping us safe, it is also eroding our precious right to privacy.

It is time we turned the tables on the oppressive government and demanded an end to this obnoxious and illegal monitoring.

Americans should also be free to lawfully engage in electronic communication or, heaven forbid, buy a gun without the oppressive oversight of a federal government hell-bent on accumulating power and limiting the God given rights of its citizens.

1 Comment

  • MrTT

    If you are concerned about "big brother" snooping into your private electronic communications, then perhaps you should consider an alternative to unencrypted cloud-based email or social networking sites. One possibility I can personally recommend (because I created it) is ThreadThat dot com. There are several others you can find using search terms "private secure encrypted", but TT is free and it is very easy to use. It provides end-to-end encryption of messages and files in a threaded conversation format. You control the passkeys used in the encryption process. You can be as anonymous as you like. The only thing required to use TT is an email account for notifications. No other personal info is collected.

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