IRS to Spy on Our Shopping Records, Travel, Social Interactions, Health Records and Files from Other Government Investigators

More and More People Are Staring Into Our Fishbowl

We noted in March that all U.S. intelligence agencies – including the CIA and NSA – are going to spy on Americans’ finances.

The IRS is joining the fun.

U.S. News and World Report notes today:

Starting this year, the IRS tools will be able to track all credit card transactions, for starters. The agency has also instructed agents on using online sources such as social media and e-commerce sites including eBay, as well as the rich data generated by mobile devices. In one controversial disclosure in April, the ACLU showed documents in which the IRS general counsel said the agency could look at emails without warrants, but the IRS has said it will not use this power.

While the agency has declined to give details about what third-party personal data it will use in robo-audits and data mining, it has told government and industry groups that its computers are capable of scanning multiple networks at the same time to collect “matching” comprehensive profiles for every taxpayer in America. Such profiles will likely include shopping records, travel, social interactions and information not available to the public, such as health records and files from other government investigators, according to IRS documents.

***

The IRS is following the philosophy of former Obama regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein [remember him?], who advocates using technology tools and behavioral science policies to “nudge” people to do the right thing. In the case of the IRS, that policy so far has fallen most heavily on lower-income taxpayers and has done little to collect substantially more tax revenue.

***

Harry Surden, a University of Colorado—Boulder Law School associate professor and former fellow at Stanford’s Center for Computers and Law, who has done in-depth studies on the use of technology by government … has found that data mining and new technology make possible a level of government intrusion into personal lives that few realize is possible.

We’ve long been the most spied upon people in history. There are more and more people staring into our fishbowl.

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  • Tonto

    It’s long been known that the problem with searches made by government without probable cause is that due to human nature, the bureaucratic cluster-cheats will be endlessly exempted from the intrusion. And these cluster-cheats are clearly known to the IRS to be the biggest tax cheats in the country.

    Didn’t anyone learn anything from the evidence of Tim Geithner’s tax problems that miraculously went away so completely it didn’t affect the quantity of bipartisan affirming votes for his nomination as Secretary of the Treasury? Open your eyes wider! And bend over further too.

    Those of you with that nasty Gold Itch that’s been going around really are going to get a smack-down shock when you get a sales-tax bill from your state government for having bought the yellow metal through the mail over state lines. And then of course, when you sell your precious metals, sales tax will be due then too. Preserving your wealth has never been so easy!

    Ain’t life a bummer? No.

    Life is good. It’s the stupid things people do while under the impression they are smarter than everyone else that are the real bummer. Even though it may sound like a good idea, no one can think through all the possible problems that may crop up, and usually do crop up, after you’ve made that leap of faith -you thought had you way out ahead of all the other lemmings…

    • Frod

      Add to this an IRS audit for not declaring capital gain on precious metal (28%) and your basis, followed by due tax, plus interest, plus penalties. How to transmute gold into lead; the IRS did it.

  • wunsacon

    All your receipts are belong to us.

  • dee preston

    This is going way too far. Where do we live again?! OmG

  • nostrafarious

    The inevitable reset is looking more and more appealing

  • gozounlimited

    Washington has come full circle. Its enemy is now its ally. Washington wasted trillions of dollars and countless lives in eleven years of war and constructed a domestic police state all in order to combat al Qaeda with whom Washington is now allied against the Syrian government.

    Why have detention facilities been built? Why did Homeland Security purchase a billion or more rounds of ammunition? Why does Homeland Security have 2,700 tanks and a para-military force? Why aren’t these questions being investigated?

    The US Constitution is the product of 900 years of human efforts to restrain brutal government and to make government subject to law. It only took Bush and Obama eleven years to get rid of it.
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    • The Qaeda?

      I think when they mean al Qaeda it could = We All The Qaeda and Them’s the Non-Qaeda so they can do what they will to the Qaeda’s as long is its to us little folks of We The Qaeda gosh and I thought i was a vet

  • ian807

    Well no problem, as long as anyone else is free to use robo-audits, data mining, multiple network scans and “matching” comprehensive profiles collection for every politician, beauracrat and lobbyist in America.

    Such profiles should include shopping records, travel, social interactions and all collectible information. Health records, names and addresses, bank records and such would be good too.

    Since that’s what they want of us, I’m sure that it will be no problem. Right?

  • HARVY HARRISON

    FUCK THE IRS.

  • Big M

    The IRS is a criminal agency that was never created by any act of CONgress, and it IS NOT an agency of the US Dept. of Treasury in DC. They have ZERO authority to enforce anything against anybody who doesn’t work for the US government, and is legally domiciled in the 50 union states. Of course, if you fill out a 1040 and send it to them, they can turn the info over to the DOJ, who may prosecute you under those circumstances, depending on what’s on the form. So guess what the solution to that is?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1498693050 Deb McReynolds

      It also is not identified in HIPAA rules and regulations related to disclosure laws, as they are not a payor, nor are they a law enforcement agency. I think it’s time everyone stopped paying taxes.

  • Dana Shetterly

    Just endorse your bills and quit bitchin’ about “income tax”. This only applies to taxpayers. Quit being one.

  • handsome jim

    Now is the time you fools!! Rise up against your tormentors!! they are the true terrorists!!!
    http://rathbonezvizionz.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/enemies-amongst-us/

  • daddy warbucks

    … and looking so damn cool in your new Google Glasses while sharing your activities and conversations inside your friends house, your favorite bar and at parties with your friends … and the FBI, IRS, HLS, CIA, DOJ, NSA and yep; the DNC.
    And with your new ‘Buddy Cup’, instantly become an unpaid government surveillance agent, how cool is that!

    “… the Buddy Cup- a cup that when tapped with another one of its kind allows the two cup holders to become Facebook friends. That’s right, no need to put down the beer, take out the phone, search for a name and then send a friend request.”

    ‘Budweiser’s Buddy Cup: Bump Beers, Become Buds … on Facebook’
    By Joanna Stern
    Apr 30, 2013

  • emmanuelozon

    Good for the IRS. I cut up my credit cards in 1983. They can track me all they want.

  • tommm365

    Obsessive Compulsive Prying Into Peoples Lives Will Not Help The Government To Get Blood Out Of A Turnip..
    The Last Few Years Have Been Tough.
    Ain’t Much Left To Take..

  • walter conell

    Write checks. LOL.

  • Guest

    The IRS is doing what they must do… it’s the duty of every working citizen to pay taxes. Without taxes the country would be bankrupt a long time ago. Quit whining, and pay your taxes folks. Be glad you live in a free country like the USA.

    • Big M

      Did your parents have any children who lived?

    • Willy

      The income tax is a perpetrated fraud! It does NOT pay for the daily operation of the U.S.A.
      Income tax pays for the interest of the money borrowed from the criminal Federal Reserve System(not part of the government, it is a private corsotium of mega banks), and that money borrowed is for welfare/warfare and aid to Israel. The CONgress has never voted on a law making wages taxable. The United States turned into a stupid democracy a few years after the war between the states. When that idiot Woodrow Wilson signed the federal reserve act he realized his mistake shortly afterwards and stated that he had unwittingly ruined the country. The United States was the envy of all nations when it was still a ‘free’ republic. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!

    • MarkEntry

      The IRS is not doing what anyone Must do. For ever $1 taxpayers have taken from them, the US Govt uses 40% just for handling the money. Then the remaining 60% is squandered accordingly. A 10% fixed flat national sales tax that’s designated by a legislative act to cover every expense American currently deal with the government for would for this nation leaders to live within their means. The big lie is we need the US Govt to do things for us. Wrong! What we need in order to make this country strong & financially healthy again is for txpayers to keep 90% of their income. People could afford to take care of their own parents, without need of the SSA, at all. For the very few elderly, & disabled who have no one at all to help them there is when States, Churches, & NPO’s step in.

  • CJ

    IRS Will Now be spying on you on many different fronts….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgcDoY-uHY4

  • L Pearce

    Orwell couldn’t imagine what we have today, we have surpassed 1984 by a long shot. I live in Utah which has the largest spy center in the world. It is super secret and its true purpose and capability probably exceeds even what this article discusses.

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    All we have what ever you want come to shop discount,deal and much more than you think visit http://www.shoppingspout.com

  • Brick By Brick Investing

    Very interesting, especially on the back of the scandal with the Tea Party. I hope that the proper authorities investigate what the IRS is doing.

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  • bouieyle

    ZERO authority to enforce anything against anybody who doesn’t work for the US government, and is legally domiciled in the 50 union states. Of course, if you fill out a 1040 and send it to them, they can turn the info over to the DOJ, who may prosecute you under those circumstances, depending on what’s on the form. in http://www.favouritebag.com/hermes-hermes-lindy-bag-c-12_17.html

  • bouieyel

    by any act of CONgress, and it IS NOT an agency of the US Dept. of Treasury in DC. They have ZERO authority to enforce anything against anybody who doesn’t work for the US government, and is legally domiciled in the 50 union states. Of course, if you fill out a 1040 and send it to them, they can turn the info over to the DOJ, who may prosecute you under those circumstances, depending on what’s on the form. http://www.favouritebag.com/

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  • tue

    Washington wasted trillions of dollars and countless lives in eleven years of war and constructed a domestic police state all in order to combat al Qaeda with whom Washington is now allied against the Syrian government.

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