Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Devil Is In The Details

Statements concerning precisely what data will be sought vary, but some reports indicate the Census effort is already wildly over the line of Constitutional authority. One report quotes Robert LaMacchia, who is said to be with the Census Bureau’s geography division, saying the Census worker will actually want to inspect the premises to look for dwellings that may be concealed. ”We will actually knock on doors and look for hidden housing units. We will find converted garages; from the outside, it may not look like anybody lives there.” Although there are already reports of citizens being threatened with fines and imprisonment for non-cooperation with the Census program, there is no Constitutional authority for the GPS data being collected, and information other than how many people live at the address is beyond the legal scope of the process. Thus, questions about income, firearms on the premises, religion, or any other personal data should be politely deflected on the basis of privacy.
Privacy concerns can be voiced without threatening the government intruder. In this regard, it might be useful to remember that even Demoncrats, and liberal institutions such as the ACLU, also speak frequently about privacy, so it’s hardly radical behaviour to seek to maintain a degree of independence from prying eyes. The fact that government is seeking to sanction trespass, with all sorts of intrusive questions is beyond the point. Clearly they’re doing it, legal or not, and our Christian response should be to try to diplomatically stay under the radar.

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