So, What Exactly Does the Government Know About You?

If knowledge if power, then knowledge about your personal life is very powerful in the hands of those who know it. Most people assume that their daily interactions are anything but public – but this is not the case – at least not anymore. I thought I’d take a post and go through the information that is considered “public” or “lawful” for the government to know about you. If, at the end of this, you’re not unsettled, then you’re not normal – or you don’t value individual liberties the way I do. So, let’s get going.

First, through your tax returns, here is what they know (not an exhaustive list):

  1. Your SSN (heck – they created it and forced you to take it)
  2. Your income
  3. Your employer
  4. Your tax preparer
  5. Your address
  6. Your signature
  7. Your dependents (not the same as the number of children that you have)
  8. Your immediate family members
  9. Where you have invested your monies and how much you have invested
  10. Companies in which you own stock
  11. Bonds that you hold
  12. People you hired (if you paid them over $600)
  13. Organizations you give money to (if over a certain amount)

Now, the NSA and their PRISM program, we learn that they know:

  1. Who we call and when
  2. Who we email and when
  3. Who we chat with and when
  4. File transfers we make
  5. VoiP calls that we make
  6. Where and when we login to major providers

Literally, all of your personal information that you post online is known (or can be known) by the government.

If you travel by air, they know your flight schedule, cities you most often visit, etc…

Through your driver’s license, they also know:

  1. Your weight
  2. Your height
  3. Eye color
  4. Your picture


    If you have applied for security clearances or certain types of licenses, such as permit to carry a pistol licenses, then they probably have your finger prints. They also know what guns you own and based on your credit card purchases, they know what ammunition you have purchased. And, of course, they have your arrest and conviction record, if you have had trouble with the law.

Now, *any* government services you use or payments you receive are known as well. So, from books you’ve checked out at the library to health care you’ve received that the government paid for is known. Since your entire health care history is known by the insurance companies, it’s not inconceivable that the government can swiftly learn all of your health care history.

So, think about it.

What if they decide that a group you belong to or a cause you support is a threat to national security? How easy would it be for them to round up and imprison those they declare are a threat to national security? Not hard at all. Don’t think your rights will matter. They won’t. If they are willing to violate the 4th amendment in gathering this information, then the 4th Amendment won’t matter when they decide you’re a threat. Am I paranoid? According to Obama – I am. I’m told to trust the government and not fear those in power.

Sorry, I’m not buying it. I have a healthy fear of my government. I have a health distrust of my government abusing its’ power and the information it has on me and my family. I know, I know….it’s only to fight terrorism. But what if they decide I’m a terroritst? Where then? What if they decide to ignore the 2nd amendment and go house to house, taking away our guns? What if they decide that the Bible is hate speech because of its’ intolerance of the gay lifestyle? I could go on. Each of us have core beliefs, values, causes and/or activities that give purpose, meaning and focus to our lives. If the government decides that your belief is a threat to national security, what recourse do you have? None.

Their knowledge of our personal lives *IS* a threat to our individual liberties. Knowledge is power. Money is power. The government has both – plus the best military in the world. They have most of the power. Limiting their power and what they can do against the normal citizen is not crazy – it’s prudent.

Bill English

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