New Bill in the US US Senate is Too Ridiculous to Believe

Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly, Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017. The title sounds like a good thing but reading the contents of the bill will quickly change your mind. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to do much to combat terrorism and does very little to combat money laundering or counterfeiting. Instead, it gives the government broad new powers to spy on your finances and even includes the authority for the government to seize not just any money you didn’t report, but also ALL of your assets and bank accounts.

The crime? Owning too much cash.

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New GOP Bill May Revive Internet Privacy Fight

A new House GOP bill is an attempt to nullify the recent legislation killing privacy protections passed during the Obama administration. The last bill was signed by Trump and is scheduled to become law, giving Internet Service Providers permission to spy on your online activities and to sell information about your online habits to anyone who wishes to purchase the information.

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has now introduced a new bill that would require both web sites and Internet Service Providers to get users’ permission before sharing their sensitive information — things like financial data, browsing history, and geolocation information — with advertisers.

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Wikipedia can Pursue NSA Surveillance Lawsuit according to a U.S. Appeals Court

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a Wikipedia lawsuit that challenges a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program of mass online surveillance, and claims that the government unconstitutionally invades people’s privacy rights.

By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, had a legal right to challenge the government’s Upstream surveillance program.

The decision could make it easier for people to learn whether authorities have spied on them through Upstream, which involves bulk searches of international communications within the internet’s backbone of cables, switches and routers.

You can read the full story in a Reuters article by Jonathan Stempel at:

IRS Officials are Really Good at Protecting their Own Privacy

Snooping by government officials is generally seen as a bad thing. Whether it is the NSA, CIA, FBI, or IRS, nobody wants others to learn about their private activities. But how about the Feds themselves? Shouldn’t they have the same levels of exposure or privacy as other citizens? Apparently not, according to some IRS employees who think they should have more privacy than do other citizens.

The desire for “special privacy” protection is so ludicrous that Department of Justice lawyers defending the IRS in a legal case have been lectured by more than one judge for their dilatory tactics and unprofessional behavior, which has repeatedly prevented evidence in the case from being produced in a timely fashion. What reason do they offer for delaying the case? The lawyers argued that it would be “unduly burdensome” to find and provide this information.

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