You probably think that the government has more than enough (or WAY too much) access and oversight into your daily lives and decisions, but, surprise surprise, they want more. In fact, according to the IRS, they already have more.
"The Internal Revenue Service has claimed that the agents do not need warrants to read e-mails, text messages, or other private electronic communications," Glenn told listeners during Thursday morning's radio program.
Yesterday, TheBlaze.com reported:
"Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU reveal that the Internal Revenue Service might think it has the ability to obtain communications without a warrant for its investigations of violations of tax law.
ACLU staff attorney Nathan Freed Wessler wrotethat the documents received do not answer directly if the IRS obtains a warrant for emails, text messages and other communications, but “they suggest otherwise”:
The documents the ACLU obtained make clear that, before Warshak, it was the policy of the IRS to read people’s email without getting a warrant. Not only that, but the IRS believed that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to email at all. A 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” from the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel baldly asserts that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” Again in 2010, a presentation by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel asserts that the “4th Amendment Does Not Protect Emails Stored on Server” and there is “No Privacy Expectation” in those emails.
Sounds concerning, right?
"I guess they're going after Facebook too," Glenn said. "They are now putting agents on Facebook. If they expect you're committing tax fraud, they're going on and they are looking for vacations. For instance, you say that you're at a business conference and you write off a business conference…is there a picture of you sitting by the pool with a drink in your hand?"
When it came to Facebook, Stu was torn.
"If you're committing tax fraud and you're dumb enough to post all kinds of vacation pictures on a public site…" he started.
"How much more power are going to give people in the government?" Glenn questioned back. "They now say they don't need warrants to listen to your phone conversations or read your e-mail. This is something that should shock and horrify everybody in this country. Everybody in this country when you were up in arms about the PATRIOT Act, and our stupid response to that was, 'they'll never do that'. Now learn from our lesson because now they are doing that. Congratulations. You were proven right. Here's one show that will say, you were right. We shouldn't give them power."
Glenn did give a tip of the hat to the ACLU for actually standing up to the IRS on this issue. Nathan Freed, ACLU staff attorney has been on the issue, and has called for the IRS to tell the public more about its policy regarding whether it gets warrants to access private communications for its criminal investigations.
"“Let’s hope you never end up on the wrong end of an IRS criminal tax investigation. But if you do, you should be able to trust that the IRS will obey the Fourth Amendment when it seeks the contents of your private emails. Until now, that hasn’t been the case,” Wessler wrote. “… the IRS should formally amend its policies to require its agents to obtain warrants when seeking the contents of emails, without regard to their age."
Tech website CNET covered the issue on their website. Watch their report below:
Last month TheBlaze TV investigated the NSA's overreach into your private documents and personal life in the alarming first installment of For The Record. Is there anything that can be done to turn the tide on the power and reach of the government into your personal and private life? Start a 14 day FREE trial of TheBlaze TV to watch episode one of For The Record on demand.