Saturday, June 21, 2008

Congress Wants to Spy on Your Finances

WorldNetDaily reported yesterday on a provision the Democrats slipped into their housing bill.

A freedom-focused grassroots organization has issued a nationwide alert about a plan in Congress that would require credit card companies, eBay, Amazon, Google and other companies to report what you buy to the federal government.

FreedomWorks chairman Dick [Armey] said the privacy implications are "breathtaking."

"This is a provision with astonishing reach, and it was slipped into the bill just this week," he said. "Not only does it affect nearly every credit card transaction in America, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, but the bill specifically targets payment systems like eBay's PayPal, Amazon and Google Checkout," he said.

FreedomWorks said the provision is "hidden deep in Sen. Christopher Dodd's 630-page Senate housing legislation." It was added by the bill's managers without debate and calls for a tracking and reporting system "on nearly every electronic transaction."

"At a time when concerns about both identity theft and government spying are paramount, Congress wants to create a new honey pot of private data that includes Social Security numbers. This bill reduces privacy across America's payment processing systems and treats every American small business or eBay power seller like a criminal on parole by requiring an unprecedented level of reporting to the federal government. This outrageous idea is another reason to delay the housing bailout legislation so that Senators and the public at large have time to examine its full implications," FreedomWorks said.

The Democrats in Congress delayed renewal of FISA legislation for months because they didn't want the government spying on terrorists. It finally passed the House yesterday. But those same Democrats think it's a good idea to collect all of your eBay transactions (I don't shop there, so eBay won't be reporting about me) and all of my American Express transactions. And they think it's such a good idea for the American people that they did a stealth maneuver to bury it in over 600 pages of unrelated legislation.

No wonder the Congressional approval numbers are lower than the President's.

6 comments:

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

The Democrats in Congress delayed renewal of FISA legislation for months because they didn't want the government spying on terrorists. It finally passed the House yesterday. But those same Democrats think it's a good idea to collect all of your eBay transactions (I don't shop there, so eBay won't be reporting about me) and all of my American Express transactions.

And by similar token, they think "outing" Valerie Plame was not ok, yet "outing" KSM's interrogator is ok? (Re: Today's NY Times)

SkyePuppy said...

Wordsmith,

I saw your post on the KSM interrogator, and I became apoplectic. Never a good thing right before church, especially when it's my turn for Nursery duty...

Tsofah said...

Skye:

Scary, isn't it?

Michael said...

This is not cool. First Dodd getting the VIP deal, then finding that Countrywide gets $25 billion dollars if the Housing Bill goes through, THEN finding that Bank of America is going to buy Countrywide and THEY had strong say in what was in the bill, and Finally they want to report on our credit card activity. I say call them and get this to stop!
1-866-928-3035
What's next?

SkyePuppy said...

Michael,

I'm so glad you stopped by. You're right. Dodd let himself get compromised, and he continues as though there's nothing wrong with what he did. Then, he makes things even worse by spying on us!

This thing looks like it's flying through Congress, so we need President Bush to veto the monstrosity.

ChuckL said...

Thanks for the heads up, skyepuppy.