Privacy Rights

Why The Patriot Act is Tyranny and Rand Paul is a Hero

Senator Rand Paul is taking a lot of heat from establishment Conservatives and some in the media for his unwavering stand against the Patriot Act. The party line that is emerging says that we are now vulnerable to terrorist attack. Even Senator Paul, himself, said he was being accused of damaging America’s defenses against such attacks. These accusations are almost humorous considering that many of these same establishment Republicans have refused to force Barack Obama to enforce immigration laws. That fact now allows literally anyone who wants to harm our nation to cross over the border and to not only remain here, but also to receive tax payer benefits and perhaps even the right to vote. Reportedly, Obama is allowing people from the same Middle Eastern nations that give rise to terrorism to flood into our nation at horrific rates. Newly announced presidential candidate Lindsey Graham is especially guilty of ...
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The Chilling Effect of Domestic Spying

Editor’s note: I have had the privilege of working closely with Mark Lerner and his Constitutional Alliance for many years. He is one of the nation’s leading experts sounding the alarm against the growing American surveillance state. - Tom DeWeese  The good news is now that the Snowden revelations have revealed to a large degree the domestic surveillance taking place, the public knows more about what OUR government is doing. The bad news is the chilling effect creating a surveillance state has on a representative form of government. The chilling effect can be simply defined as the way in which people alter or modify their behavior to conform to political and social norms as a result of knowing or believing they are being observed. The observation can be from physical surveillance, telephone meta data being collected, emails being intercepted and read, search engine requests being maintained, text messages being read ...
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E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State

The rush is on to force into law mandatory use of the E-Verify system that will mandate that all businesses use this hand-me-down from the Social Security Administration in order to hire anyone. Republican Representative Lamar Smith has introduced HR 2164 and House action is expected at any time. Say proponents, E-Verify is necessary to stop illegals from getting jobs. Many freedom-loving Conservatives are supporting the idea in a desperate attempt to control illegal immigration. Is this the right way to protect America? To answer that, it’s necessary to ask another question. If government won’t do its job, is that a reason for Americans to surrender their liberty? Do you think that is a funny question? Well, it is actually what a number of Conservative activist groups are now advocating in the name of stopping illegal immigration through enforcement of E-Verify. The fact is, the U.S. government is not doing ...
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The Threat to Freedom: The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Department of Homeland Security

Briefing to the Tea Party Caucus of the US House of Representatives February 17, 2011 By Tom DeWeese: My name is Tom DeWeese, President of the American Policy Center, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center I am a right wing extremist, a racist and a potentially violent terrorist. In March, 2010, SPLC issued a report entitled “Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism,” in which groups opposed to issues like the Obama health care plan and illegal immigration were lumped with white supremacist groups like the National Socialist Movement and Skin Heads. In August, 2010 SPLC launched an attack against my organization and our national conference, The Freedom Action Conference, held at Valley Forge, PA, and featured such speakers as best selling author Tom Woods, former presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, Sheriff Richard Mack, several respected state legislators, and many more well known spokesmen. The title ...
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How the U.S. Government Forged a Surveillance Society

On September 12, 2001, President George W. Bush invited members of Congress and the media for a meeting in the cabinet room of the White House. The mood was understandably anxious, somber: The World Trade Center lay in rubble, the Pentagon had a hole gouged into it and shock and awe had settled over the United States. One of the most extraordinary periods of American history – what would come to be known as the “Post 9-11 Era” – was beginning. The president gravely laid out the situation and the steps his administration would take to secure the homeland, but during the course of the meeting he also made this significant declaration: “We will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.” Those were heroic words of principle and patriotism in a traumatic time, but history would show that government’s ...
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Americans Fight Back as TSA Blinks

Just days before the busiest travel weekend of the year (Thanksgiving holiday) the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) decided to flex its muscle and not only enforce the use of the very unpopular whole body imaging x-ray machines (called by many, the naked machines), but for those who refused to use them, the TSA generously offered a “choice” of a vigorous manual groping. Worse or “even worse” is not a choice. Americans finally got upset and said so. A nationwide protest began to take shape called “Opt Out,” encouraging travelers to make their feelings known by refusing to enter the full-body scanners, demanding the more time-consuming pat downs. The point was to send a very strong message to an arrogant government agency by clogging airport security areas, forcing the TSA to back off the use of the scanners. Also, the more people forced to endure the invasive ...
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The Revolving Door That Never Stops Turning

Six years ago I started speaking out about a small company in Massachusetts called Viisage Technology. Not many people paid attention to what I had to say because the company was only a $50 million company. However, after a few quick steps that would rival anything you might find on any of the reality dancing shows on television Viisage has morphed into a billion dollar plus company. I can provide a number of reasons you should care about L-1 Identity Solutions, the company Viisage Technology transformed into. I will start by mentioning that Louis Freeh (former Director of the FBI), Admiral Loy (former head of the Transportation Security Agency), George Tenet (former Director of the CIA), Frank Moss (former program manager for the State Department’s E-Passport program), and many others who previously held key positions in the federal government all joined Viisage/L-1 as members of the Board of Directors or ...
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A Surveillance or Free Society? A Challenge to the Left and Right

By Tome DeWeese Do you feel it? It’s everywhere. On television. In the newspaper. At any public gathering. In any discussion – even among friends. It’s a feeling of mistrust. Nervousness. Suspicion. Even rage. Mostly, it’s just under the surface. But more and more it’s bubbling to the top. Political debate is breaking into outright war. Just say the words, “I don’t believe government should do that…” and the war is on. Take a side. Feel the heat. Tolerance is a thing of the past. There is an all out, vicious attack on anyone who doesn’t respond properly. Ridicule. Intimidation. Public shunning. Destruction of careers. Removal from public meetings. All await those who express thoughts outside the politically-correct box. Climate change skeptics are scientists who have gone beyond the hype and conducted their own research, and made their own findings. It’s what scientists do. For their efforts they have been ...
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Government Gone Mad in a Total Surveillance Society

June 25, 2009 By Tom DeWeese I've heard it all- the cries, the pleas, the whines, the double speak and the lies. "We need the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect us from terrorists." "We must have Real ID to protect us from illegal immigration." "We must have E-Verify to protect American jobs." "Traffic light cameras are necessary to make the streets safer." "Security cameras on street corners make our neighborhoods safer." "I'm glad the TSA is there at the airport - I feel so much safer getting on an airplane." And my favorite lie of them all - "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear." Take note: every single one of these issues results in bigger, more invasive government, and not a single one will do anything to solve the intended problem. Every single one will make you less free, less happy and less ...
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The Growing American Tyranny and How to Stop It

Freedom 21 is the next step! Issued by Tom DeWeese - American Policy Center The Tea Parties have been held. The protests against the threats of a more powerful government have been made. Americans across the nation have made it clear – they fear our own government and they want to stop its headlong plunge toward totalitarianism. The question for all concerned Americans must be “now what do we do?” What are the issues that are frightening the American people? Massive growth of government. Outrageous spending. The growing invasion of personal privacy in a surveillance state. The loss of private property rights. The destruction of our schools. The threat of disarmament of American citizens. And, above all, politicians who won’t listen. Of course these are only a sample of the threats we face – but you get the picture. So what do we do now? Americans have to learn how ...
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The Battle in the States: Freedom Vs. Protection

April 2, 2009 By Tom DeWeese and Mark Lerner Across the nation, state legislatures are struggling to take back their Constitutional rights as they also seek ways to protect us from outside threats. This has led to some near schizophrenic legislative sessions with laws swinging widely from left to right. Making it more difficult to get a handle on the situation is the fact that there has been an outgrowth of near "rabid" anti-immigration groups that have sprung up demanding near-Hitler-style tactics to "fix" the problem. While the situation is certainly serious and demands action, these groups openly admit that they are willing to surrender their liberties if that is what it takes to end illegal immigration. They may deeply regret that cavalier dismissal of liberty. Once lost, it is rarely regained. To address these issues, three very distinct, but widely variant legislative actions have appeared in the states. First, ...
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E-VERIFY AND THE EMERGING SURVEILLANCE STATE

Subjecting all Americans to an International databank September 24, 2008 By Tom DeWeese If government won't do its job, is that a reason for Americans to surrender their liberty? Do you think that is a funny question? Well, it is actually what a number of activist groups are now advocating in the name of stopping illegal immigration. The fact is, the U.S. government is not doing its job to secure the border and stop the flood of illegal aliens from rushing across it. Even though Congress has passed legislation demanding that a fence be built, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dragging its feet, holding up the project. Moreover, DHS is fighting efforts in local communities to allow police to arrest illegals. There is little effort to tighten visa security, or allow law enforcement to track down and deport those who stay here past their allotted time. Those illegals ...
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REAL ID: Connecting the dots to an International ID

Address by Representative Sam E. Rohrer Freedom 21 National Conference - Dallas, Texas July 25, 2008 History offers many examples of societies which have sought to increase security by sacrificing freedom. America itself provides many pertinent instances. However, our founding fathers have not left us without wisdom on this issue. Ben Franklin has famously stated, 'People willing to trade freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.' REAL ID undoubtedly exemplifies a scenario in which a difficult tension exists between freedom and security. By commandeering every state's driver's license issuing process, REAL ID threatens the results warned by Franklin - loss of both freedom and security. It has become the biometric enrollment phase of a plan to implement a terribly invasive tracking system, largely without public knowledge or approval. REAL ID is merely the current face of a far larger, international government and private economic effort to collect, ...
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ID Cards and Databanks are Not the Solution

January 18, 2008 By Tom DeWeese In this age of terrorism and out-of-control illegal immigration, it is a growing belief by many Americans that we must all be regulated, restricted, licensed, registered, directed, checked, inspected, measured, numbered, counted, stamped, authorized, fined, harassed, disarmed, exploited and taxed in the name of protection. Trouble is, that outlook is just plain wrong and it isn’t freedom. According to a report from the London-based Privacy International, "privacy is being extinguished in country after country." The report also noted that privacy was improving in the former communist states of eastern Europe, but it is worsening across Western Europe and the United States. According to the report, of forty seven countries surveyed, Malaysia, Russia and communist China ranked worst, but Great Britain and the United States also fell into the lowest-performing group of "endemic surveillance societies." As technology develops, data banks of personal information are being ...
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Opposition to National ID Continues to Grow

May 11, 2007 By Tom DeWeese Five states, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Arkansas and Maine, have enacted legislation informing the federal government that their states will not comply with the Real ID Act, a law passed by Congress in 2005 which will essentially transform driver’s licenses into a national ID Card. The Act requires each state to change their driver’s license system to meet national standards and ensure that their databases are linked with other states and is set to take effect by May, 2008. Under the Act, states and federal government would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, curt ordered separations, medical records, and detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address, and Social Security Number for more than 240 million with no requirements or controls on how this database ...
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Hate Crime Legislation Will Target Your Freedom of Speech

March 9, 2007 By Tom DeWeese A battle has been waging during the opening months of the 110th Congress over proposed Hate Crime legislation. The main bill currently before the House is H.R. 254, titled, "The David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act," introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). Opposition is growing to the legislation because hate crime laws would make certain types of speech a federal offense, allowing federal "thought police" to interfere in the law enforcement authority of states and local government. Such interference is blatantly unconstitutional. HR. 254 would require every state to pass and enforce "anti-hate" laws, making it a federal crime to express bias against specifically federally protected groups. Some hate laws have been interpreted to mean documents like the Bible are hate literature and preaching from it is hate speech. Nowhere was this more clearly shown than in England under a similar law, where two ...
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The Growing National ID Trap

November 13, 2006 By Tom DeWeese Technology can be a wonderful thing. From our garage door opening automatically on a rainy day to being able to find a lost pet, to quickly paying for an item by slapping a card over a "Pay Pass" reader, technology can make our lives better, more organized and safer. There is no question that is would be a marvelous use of technology to be able to carry a copy of all your medical records, in case you fall ill or get hurt. Then the hospital will know all about your health condition including allergies, surgeries, dental problems and medications. It would be a matter of comfort for parents to know that, if their child was kidnapped or wandered off, a chip could be activated to pinpoint where they are. The same is true in locating a lost pet. It would be helpful for police ...
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Future American Lawyers Take a Stand for Freedom

April 24, 2006 By Tom DeWeese Many patriotic Americans have rightly worried about the nation’s future in the hands of today’s younger generation. Proven time and again is their lack of understanding for American ideals and principles of limited government, thanks to a woefully inadequate education from government schools. However, such fears received at least a small reprieve on January 24, 2006, when a group of law students at Georgetown University Law School staged a dramatic protest during a speech by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales was on the campus to defend the Bush Administration’s use of domestic spying. As the Attorney General began his remarks, more that twenty law students stood and turned their backs on him as others unfurled a sign which read, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither," a paraphrase of a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Gonzales helped ...
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Don’t Let Katrina be the Excuse to Blow Away Our Liberty

October 5, 2005 By Tom DeWeese In typical fashion the federal government is using a real disaster to scare us into giving it more power in case an unrelated, perhaps man-made (terrorist-related), disaster might possibly occur. President Bush has announced that he wants to federalize emergency responses. When does it stop? Katrina was the worst natural disaster to ever hit the United States. As a result, all levels of government were caught off guard. Some elected officials were most certainly inept at dealing with the situation. People suffered as a result. So, accept it for what it was. Katrina was a once in a life time experience. Now, clean up the mess and move on. But no, according to President Bush, Katrina showed us what would happen if there was a terrorist attack in a large population center. What if we had to move whole populations in case of some ...
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We Must Never Let the Terrorists Win

April 8, 2005 By Peyton Knight "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That is the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was designed and ratified by our nation’s founders to protect Americans from a federal government that, as our founders feared, would grow ever intrusive, overbearing, and downright power mad. Certain provisions of the Patriot Act irreparably harm this critical constitutional liberty. The Act was passed just 45 days following the horrific 9/11 attacks. Congress didn’t even read the bill before they voted on it. As such, Congress made certain that the most extraordinary provisions of the bill, particularly those that ...
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