Liberal or Conservative, You Should Worry About the Government Targeting Your Data

The IRS has targeted conservative groups in the past, infamously taking aim at Tea Party nonprofits. Last month, the site-hosting platform DreamHost reported that the government wanted more than 1.3 million IP addresses for people who visited a site created to organize an anti-Trump riot on Inauguration Day.

Whether you’re closer to being a Tea Party protestor or an anti-Trump demonstrator, this kind of big government should scare you. Glenn Beck talked with tech journalist Saul Hansell about the dangers of having our entire lives online on Thursday’s “The Glenn Beck Radio Program.”

“Should the government be able to have the names, the IP addresses and the search history of everyone who went to that website?” Glenn asked. “This is what’s being debated right now.”

The Fourth Amendment protects the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” listing “probable cause” as the exception. But what happens in a world where so many details of our lives are in the digital cloud, not in our homes?

“There’s a line here that has become very, very difficult in a world of digital information,” Hansell said.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Do you remember during the Tea Party movement at its height, where the IRS started playing games with people's information? And imagine if during the -- the Tea Party days, if you had gone to the 9/12 Project and you had just searched or you had gone to a Tea Party website and you had just searched and you had maybe posted. And then some people go out and they start to do something violent.

Should the government be able to have the names, the IP addresses, and the search history of everyone who went to that website?

This is what's being debated right now. But it's being debated not with a 9/12 Project or a Tea Party project. It's something that would make a lot of people on the right happy, I guess. Disrupt J20. That was the group that disrupted the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Now the government has arrested 200 people under felony rioting. But the government wants the IP addresses, the emails, and the history of anyone who engaged with these people through the website, Disrupt J20. Should they have that right? And how would you feel if the situation were reversed?

STU: We've talked a lot about these lines and how they're drawn with the government and how it relates to your data. Wanted to get someone who really knows these things, the ins and outs of it. Saul Hansel is a former technology reporter at the New York Times. He's now the managing director at Media Paradox Labs.

GLENN: So, Saul, you wrote about this in 2008, about your -- your op-ed was, one subpoena is all it takes to reveal your online life.

We're entering a new world here. Are we not?

SAUL: The world even in the nine years since I wrote that, the amount of information about you that is online somewhere, sent up by your cell phone about your location, all the questions you ask Siri, all sorts of other things, is exponentially higher.

So what you said at the introduction is I think critical here: We've got to be very thoughtful in drawing some lines so that prosecutors can do the right things, but not be searching everything about everybody, which is available to them now.

GLENN: So, is all, here's the problem that I think we have in society right now: We are divided into two camps. And I think they are bogus camps. Both of them. I think they both are in many ways opting for the same thing. Because when it's their side that has the power, they're all for it. When they're on the receiving side, they're all against it.

We have a job to do to try to convince people on both sides, you don't want to give the power like this to the government, ever.

How do we do that?

SAUL: You know, I think that the way you introduce this, where you said to people who might have identified with one group and against the other, that things switch, right? We know that there is a history of governments snooping on people, where they shouldn't. The FBI, you know, tracking the extra marital affairs of Martin Luther King. All kinds of things where governments do what they shouldn't do. That seems bad. But there are really horrible criminals that blow things up and kill people, and that's bad. And the art here, right? The Fourth Amendment says, the right of people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated without probable cause. So there's a -- a line here that has become very, very difficult in a world of digital information.

GLENN: We were -- you know, the Fourth Amendment was written at a time when people were using quickly pens. And so it's easy for people to say, "Well, no, I wrote that. And that's my paper." What are you doing? You can't go through my desk. You just can't come in here.

However, everything we have -- literally everything we have and done and thought and searched and questioned, everything is now up in a cloud. And it is stored forever. And there is some disconnect with people on the Fourth Amendment, if it's on the cloud. And people will make the excuse, well, I'm not looking for some -- I'm not doing anything wrong.

I don't have a problem if they look at everything. That's insanity.

SAUL: You know, the law has made a distinction. Right? Between things that are public, things that are private and personal -- you know, in your house. And things that are sort of intermediate. Like a business record.

So a cop can go up to a dry cleaner and say, you know, with a certain amount of subpoena power, did so-and-so dry clean a suit at this date? A much higher standard applies to going into your house and looking in the pockets of your suit, right? The business record was seen as something that's not quite public, but not a secret.

The problem is, as you say, we're not printing our secrets, things you might not even keep in your desk drawer, you might keep in your Gmail account or in your, you know, online files. Or are in the photographs that you don't even know have been backed up to somebody's server. And so at a minimum, I think the policy issue is, should we treat the cloud extensions of our life with the same protections that we treat things in our homes, in our personal privacy?

That's a question that I don't think law enforcement wants to ask. Because they like it this way. They get more stuff than ever. But I think it's a good discussion to have.

STU: And it's a tough thing, is all. Because if there is an attack. If there is some crime, people are going to want it solved. They're going to want the law enforcement to have these tools at their disposal.

SAUL: Yep.

STU: And it's always going to be more powerful to say, this person could have been saved. Their life could have been saved if we had these powers.

SAUL: Yep.

STU: And I don't know the story of, well, the government searched too much through my Gmail is going to convince people the other way.

How do you get people kind of across that line and to understand that it's really a bigger issue than that?

Because this is everything you've ever thought. They can prove in lawsuits, things that you made in jokes. They can tie to whatever they're accusing you of now. There's a real big consequence of this.

SAUL: Right. You know, Glenn said earlier, you know, people say, my life is an open book. What does it matter? And, you know, that's true. You know, most people are really boring most of the time.

GLENN: Yes.

SAUL: But every now and then, right? Some set of things happens that you either have a real secret. Maybe even not --

GLENN: Or, you know, may I suggest this? Saul, I know I'm different. But I don't think -- there's probably just more frequency of this. Because of what I do, probably because of what you do, I'm searching for all kinds of crazy stuff.

SAUL: Sure.

GLENN: And I'm looking up mass murder and everything else. And you could, if you had access to all of my life, you could assemble things and say, well, look at the picture we have here, Mr. Beck. And I would then be in the situation where I would have to explain, no, that's not what it is. That's not -- no. And so it -- you don't want people to be able to come in and assemble parts of your life, even if you don't have something to hide, which we all do. Even if you don't have something to hide, when somebody has all of your information, they can assemble it in very nefarious ways, should they choose.

SAUL: Yes. So they can find, you know, inadvertent things or misleading things. And we also have a general, you know, standard here, that cops need to know what they're looking for, and they can't use a search for one thing as a way to fish around to see -- you know, there must be something this guy did wrong. Right?

And what you described is absolutely true. What they're going to do in this case -- right? Because there's a -- there's supposedly a compromise the courts are imposing. But I think it has the risk you're pointing out. Which is the government is going to go search through a bunch of emails among people who are involved in this, you know, disrupt website for certain terms. Bombs or violence or riot or whatever they want. And then they get to read those emails.

And guess what, those are emails by people who they didn't expect and may not, in fact -- maybe have used the word riot in a completely different context. And suddenly the emails are read. And somebody might notice something else. And it can be used by, you know, the government to harass the centers or do all kinds of bad things. So I -- what Stu said. Yes. If I was searching every email that was sent by anybody in the world in the two weeks before 9/11 and maybe I could figure out who did something, you know, or I searched for key words, you know, you might have prevented something really bad. But is that a price you're willing to pay to let the government go on phishing?

GLENN: No. No. It's not for me.

I was -- I had a conversation with Eric Schmidt from Google.

SAUL: Yeah.

GLENN: And he said -- and he's said this publicly a few times. I don't remember the year. But I think it was like 2025 or something like that. He said, "People's lives will be so open and so destroyed by what they have put out online, just haphazardly, or not even thinking, that they'll actually have to change their name by the time they're 25 years old."

I don't think people understand the world is changing and how dramatically things are going to change.

SAUL: You know, I have teenage daughters. And basically, my advice to them is be careful about secrets. You can have some. But you shouldn't have very many. You should -- you know, think about them carefully, and preserve them. And you should make them only analogue. Right? Once you make it digital, it's not a secret.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

And it's never been more important. Join us live from the Standing Rock Ranch on Blaze TV, YouTube and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday July, 2nd and restore the hope in you.

Make sure you join us and use the hashtag and spread the word, fight the mob today and you'll save $20 on your year of subscription. We need you now more than ever.

RESTORING HOPE: Join Glenn live from Standing Rock Ranch to restore the American covenant youtu.be

On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.