Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Census Bureau Loses Hundreds of Laptops

The Census Bureau is already overreaching and intrusive, conducting what I believe is an unconstitutional "American Community Survey" asking very personal questions, none of which are related to the Constitution's requirement that Congress "enumerate" voters every decade.

Now comes word that the Census Bureau just can't seem to keep that confidential information confidential: "The department has lost or had stolen 1,137 laptops since 2001 - the largest number of computers that any agency has publicly acknowledged losing."

It's enough to give anyone pause about answering a "survey" which may be illegal or unenforceable, in any event. Not only are there serious constitutional questions, but the survey attempts to supersede other federal and state privacy laws by demanding disclosure of private matters such as respondents' mental or physical health.

Skimming this website provides some interesting information on the American Community Survey, if you separate the wheat from the chaff. Based on this and other Internet research I've done over the last couple months, it appears the Census Bureau has not actually prosecuted anyone for refusing to fill out the Survey. It may be possible they don't want it put to a constitutional test.

I have emailed my Congressman, Ed Royce, twice about the American Community Survey and unfortunately have not received a response with his position.

4 Comments:

Blogger Entropy said...

Horrible. You're probably right. It may not be consitutional but that's really not going to stop them, is it? If you were to buck them they'd probably say it's for _national security_ anyway since that's the code word to do whatever you want.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

"If you were to buck them they'd probably say it's for _national security_ anyway since that's the code word to do whatever you want."

I disagree with that aspect...what they actually seem to be stressing is "free" (taxpayer-paid) goodies...if you give the government the info they want, your community will be on the receiving end of more federal money for various programs...

Thanks for your thoughts! Best wishes, Laura

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

"if you give the government the info they want, your community will be on the receiving end of more federal money for various programs..."

Hmmmmmmm, let's have a look at merriam-webster's definition of a bribe:
1 : money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust.
2 : something that serves to induce or influence.

Sounds like bribery to me!!

Laura in MN

3:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good point!

Thanks for your thoughts - Laura

3:34 PM  

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