American used to project an image of `The land of freedom` to the world. Yet, it seems these days the only image America projects is war,greed, empire and fascism. As an American, it is not easy for your man of liberty to write such words but the truth is written on the wall. Of the numerous policies which destroy liberty in America, the one which may be ruining personal liberty in American the most tracking of US citizens by the Federal government.
Most people are aware of the warrantless wiretapping program which was put in place by Bush W. and maintained by Obama. What has made this policy truly disturbing is that the Federal Government not only was out in the open about it but also defended secretly tracking US citizens without warrants and little or no oversight. At this point one would think that tracking phone calls, e-mails, and text messages would be enough but there seems to be no end to the Federal government desire to track US citizens every move. Due to the efforts of blogger Christopher Soghoian documents have been released which show the Federal Government tracking US citizen`s purchases without warrant and without the person targeted knowledge. As shocking as this new level of government tyranny is, I have no choice but to report that it all true. The document which Chris pressured to get released details exactly how, and by which methods, the Federal government uses so-called Hotwatch tracking to see what any American buys. You can read the doc. by clicking here.
What makes this kind of spying program truly disturbing is that while the released docs. explain what kind of purchases they target and the method of going about it, what it leaves out is the standard to engage in such activity. This document, which took Chris over a year and a half to get release, contains no mention of a need to ask the courts for permission to engage in tracking a US citizen`s financial transactions. On page three of the ten page government doc. is clearly states the number one way in which such authority is granted is by `Administrative subpoena with a court order for non-disclosure.` In short, the government has agents signing off on their own orders to track US citizen`s financial transactions. The teeth of such an order is only a court order which prevents or bank or company from informing the person targeted.
With such a system in place the government now has FBI and CIA agents running around targeting anyone they want for pretty much any reason as long as they say it is for, `an ongoing investigation.` There is no oversight and the courts can do little to stop it. The level of corruption and revenge such policy creates must be massive. With the right paperwork any US citizen can have almost any financial transaction they do tracked and recorded by the government. The docs. express no standard so we can only assume government agents can order a `Hotwatch` whenever they want. When people talk about a police state this is what they are talking about.