Data Mining for Big Brother

big-brotherOn March 7th, I received an email from my local state representative telling me that anonymous sources inside Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) offices, which handles our state drivers licenses, non-license IDs and Concealed Carry Weapon endorsements (CCW), had reported that the DOR was compromising the privacy and security of it’s citizens.  Informants stated that several DOR offices were freely, and voluntarily, handing over to the Department of Homeland Security scanned copies of documents required of private citizens who were applying for their Missouri CCW endorsement and that others offices were in the process of acquiring the hardware and software necessary to follow suit.  All of this was in spite of the fact that it is clearly in violation of state laws already in place forbidding such activity.

 

As a result, a lawsuit was filed against one such office in Bloomfield, MO.  A ten-day restraining order was issued for that single DOR office restricting it from issuing any CCWs, but this pertained to only that one office in that single county.  While the order was eventually extended, issues within other offices and counties remain, and the question remains as to how wide spread this cooperative leak may be.

 

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Most would agree that the forwarding of information to the DHS or any federal entity for databasing is problematic from the perspective of security of personal information – including a photo ID, and it is.  In the state of Missouri, it is expressly forbidden by statute.  After all, these are law-abiding citizens who are seeking only to legally secure their inherent right to self-defense and preservation if called upon to do so.  However, those with these concerns have another problem – without the endorsement they are now disarmed, prohibited from lawfully carrying a firearm.  Surely the Missouri DOR and Big Brother knew that there would be those who would object so strenuously to this outright invasion of privacy that they would sooner forgo their CCW then have their personal information forwarded onto the DHS.  Those who choose to conceal carry without virtue of a CCW endorsement are committing a felony; which could, in the event they use or are found to have the gun on their person outside their home or vehicle, even if the use is in the case of self-defense, result in fines, jail time and/or cost them their constitutional right to own or purchase a firearm for the rest of their life.  Should the Missouri DOR continue it’s alleged collaboration with the DHS, it is paramount to requiring citizens to choose between their privacy and their right to bear arms, at least as it pertains to outside their vehicles and homes.

 

Both of these thought processes are unpleasant enough.  However, there is another school of thought that should also be considered.  Americans, by and large, have balked at the notion of a federal gun registration program.  Those fearing a massive confiscation of arms or infringement of rights call it invasive.  Those who abhor big government say it is overreaching and an illegitimate use of power.  Constitutionalists will remind you that the 10th Amendment states that any laws not specifically delegated to the federal government, under the Constitution, are retained by the individual states.  Still, we see terrible encroachments each day in places our federal government has no express power.  If the DHS were unsuccessful in the implementation of a federal firearms registration program, a useful secondary tool would be the acquisition of the records of those who have lawful right to conceal and carry a firearm.  You can be assured those in possession of such rights also have at least one firearm to go with it; chances are fairly good, they have more – and big brother knows this.

 

While investigation continues into the claims of an unlawful relationship between the Missouri DOR and the DHS, with Governor Jay Nixon denying the claims, and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder offering assistance to those who have been victims of the collaboration, citizens of other states should not rest easy.  There can be no magical thinking – it would never happen here.  Look at what C-scope has done to the state of education in Texas, the uproar created by violations of deep-rooted principles and trusts.  No one can deny that the curriculum issues strike at the most vulnerable and malleable members of our society, in a state known for staunch Christian ideals and traditional values.  One has to wonder if the powers that be see it is a sort of experiment – if they can get it through Texas without ruffling too many feathers other states will fall into line far more quietly.  Follow that logic and one can be fairly confident that if one conservative state has agreed to quietly collaborate with the DHS record finding agenda, there are probably more states covertly walking the same path, data mining if you will, on behalf of Big Brother.

 

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