(FamilyConservationPAC.com) – U.S. intelligence and law enforcement organizations’ purchase of personal data on Americans has been confirmed in a recently declassified dossier, sparking concerns about privacy and civil rights among political parties.
The report created by a committee advising the Director of National Intelligence was finished in January 2022 but kept secret until Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden asked for its release this month.
The report explains how American agencies have purchased massive datasets of Americans.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Internal Revenue Service paid for access to a database containing the location information of millions of American phones to detect tax fraudsters.
Homeland Security gathered and used similar phone location information for immigration purposes.
The report stated:
“In a way that far fewer Americans seem to understand, and even fewer of them can avoid,” the report said, “[commercially available information] includes information on nearly everyone that is of a type and level of sensitivity that historically could have been obtained” by other intelligence gathering tools, like search warrants, wiretaps, and surveillance.”
Following the information’s declassification, Wyden released a statement claiming that the government had failed to uphold Americans’ rights to privacy.
According to Wyden, the analysis reveals that the government’s current policies do not offer fundamental protections for Americans’ privacy or oversight of how agencies obtain and utilize personal data.
This article claims that the ODNI is unaware of the government intelligence agencies that are purchasing the personal information of Americans.
The study proved that it was possible to “identify every person who attended a protest or rally based on their smartphone location or ad-tracking records” using “the detailed movements and associations of individuals and groups, revealing political, religious, travel, and speech activities.”
The report warns that in the wrong hands, sensitive information obtained through commercially available data “could facilitate blackmail, stalking, harassment, and public shaming.”
Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming’s Republican Party said it was unacceptable for the government to discover ways to spy on people.
Lummis posted on Twitter, “The federal government shouldn’t be in the business of discovering constitutional gaps to spy on the people of Wyoming. “Not right now, never.”
The federal government should not be in the business of finding loopholes in the Constitution to spy on the people of Wyoming.
Not now, not ever.https://t.co/Rqrfy9auII
— Senator Cynthia Lummis (@SenLummis) June 15, 2023
Wyden demanded legislation to stop government entities from continuing to gather personal information about Americans without a valid reason.
“Congress needs to pass legislation to put guardrails around government purchases, to rein in private companies that collect and sell this data, and to keep Americans’ personal information out of the hands of our adversaries,” the speaker said.
According to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, “the entire effort is intended to foster greater transparency. The panel “prepared a thorough report, along with key recommendations, which we are now considering and working to implement.”
She continued, “I think the public should be aware of the policies and procedures that guide our efforts to safeguard national security, civil liberties, and privacy.”
“In keeping with this, I gladly agreed to review this report for classification purposes and provide whatever is declassified at Senator Wyden’s request,” she added.
“We will also make as much of it publicly available as we can once we have finalized our framework for handling such information based on the panel’s recommendations, as I have already stated.”
The report was completed by January 2022 and was classified before being requested by Democrat Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden.
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