(Natural News) A new report has revealed that the United States government has been using taxpayer dollars to purchases troves of private information on American citizens collected from third party data providers.
A “nightmare scenario,” according to privacy advocates, the government’s secret data accumulation scheme involves the amassment of a “large amount” of “sensitive and intimate information” about American citizens.
More than a year ago, senior advisers informed Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence (DNI), that the size and scope of this data accumulation scheme is vast. Minute details of ordinary Americans’ lives were sold to the government by slimy data brokers that handed it over for cash, much like a drug deal.
In late 2021, Haines tasked the advisers who told her about all this with untangling the web of secretive business arrangements that facilitated the transfer of such data between commercial data brokers and U.S. intelligence community members.
“This report reveals what we feared most,” said attorney Sean Vitka of the Demand Progress non-profit organization. “Intelligence agencies are flouting the law and buying information about Americans that Congress and the Supreme Court have made clear the government should not have.”
(Related: The Censorship Industrial Complex would not even exist without taxpayers unknowingly funding this “vast censorship enterprise.”)
U.S. government bypassing privacy rights with “craven interpretations of aging laws”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke out about this latest revelation, indicating that he has been trying to sound the alarm for quite some time now about the loopholes that seem to exist, allowing the U.S. government to steamroll the Constitution in its quest for data on American citizens.
“I’ve been warning for years that if using a credit card to buy an American’s personal information voids their Fourth Amendment rights, then traditional checks and balances for government surveillance will crumble,” Wyden said.
We also now know that the U.S. government has been using “craven interpretations of aging laws” to bypass Americans’ privacy rights. Prosecutors are increasingly ignoring the limits that exist on such data collection, or what is more rightfully called domestic surveillance.
On March 8, Wyden pressed Haines about the release of a panel report about what was uncovered, stressing that the general public “absolutely” needs to see it. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) did just this on Friday by releasing the report amid a battle with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) over various associated documents.
“This report makes it clear that the government continues to think it can buy its way out of constitutional protections using taxpayers’ own money,” said EPIC law fellow Chris Baumohl.
“Congress must tackle the government’s data broker pipeline this year, before it considers any reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” he added, referring here to the ongoing political battle over the so-called “crown jewel” of the U.S. surveillance apparatus.
What the U.S. government now considers to constitute “publicly available information” is so vast and extreme that it poses a very serious threat to the general public, the ODNI’s own panel of advisers warned. Existing policies that automatically conflate the purchase of such private data as if it were “public” must be stopped.
“The information being commercially sold about Americans today is ‘more revealing, available on more people (in bulk), less possible to avoid, and less well understood’ than that which is traditionally thought of as being ‘publicly available,’” one report explained.
“Perhaps most controversially, the report states that the government believes it can ‘persistently’ track the phones of ‘millions of Americans’ without a warrant, so long as it pays for the information.”
The latest news about the government’s illegal and unconstitutional activities against Americans can be found at Corruption.news.
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