Imagine that the U.S. government had the power to scour the reams of public records and collect and collate every bit of personal information about every citizen of this country. Now imagine that any of the various intelligence and security agencies within the government could combine that data with any other information about a person that has been posted to a social media website or compiled by one of the many data aggregating companies that keep tabs on all of us.

A Washington Times article published in 2010 suggested that in order to hold onto a Democratic Party majority in Congress, President Barack Obama was exacerbating racial tension by turning his attention to minorities to the exclusion of white voters. The president is quoted in the piece saying, “It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008, stand together once again.”

 

There is evidence that in advance of the 2012 presidential election, Obama is playing that same card in the high-stakes game to keep his seat in the Oval Office. In an executive order signed on July 26, President Barack Obama created the “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.” The initiative will be administered by the Department of Education.

In advance of the announcement of his vice-presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has released a smartphone app that is capable of tracking users' GPS location, as well as writing to their SD card.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's bill to protect citizens from surveillance by drones needs 48 more cosponsors in order to rein in the Supreme Court's approvals of such surveillance.

About a year ago, a federal appeals court ordered the deeply unpopular Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to obey the law and hold public hearings on its widely loathed “naked body scanners.” The massive bureaucracy flouted the judicial order and has so far failed to comply. This week, however, the court demanded that the Department of Homeland Security explain itself by the end of the month.

A coalition of TSA critics including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) originally sought to have the nude scanners removed from airports on constitutional grounds, alleging a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Other opponents also said the pornographic machines violate the right to privacy.

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