A warning to advocates and targeting individual actions
Our democracy has dissent at its core. Those that advocate opinions that are at odds to the status quo are essential to our way of life. Civil rights, gun rights, tax policy, pollution, global warming, abortion rights and gay rights, just to name a few, all have
advocates. No matter what your opinion is on any subject large corporations are tracking your information.
A few years ago the media glossed over the implications of the IRS targeting individuals belonging to conservative groups. What wasn’t talked about however was how the IRS identified the individuals. Do you really believe that the director of the IRS called up the director of the FBI or NSA and asked who was in the tea party? Group membership or religion is not on your 1040, nor is it in the census form. The obvious source of that information was an outside interest.
It certainly not the first instance of our government targeting a group with bias. The FBI had targeted groups in the 1970’s. A theft of records resulted in the exposure of some of the FBI’s most self-incriminating documents, including several documents detailing the FBI’s use of postal workers and switchboard operators, in order to spy on black college students and various non-violent black activist groups. Those documents were leaked to various newspapers long before the inception of the internet.
J Edgar Hoover was instrumental in founding the FBI and was its director until his death in 1972. The files that he kept on politicians and private citizens kept him in power through both Democratic and Republican administrations. His records became synonymous with the power he welded and had little if any successful political opposition.
Today Axiom and a few others are collecting and cataloging who is in what group. The information collected and sold to politicians is used for policy and writing laws in congress. Governor Terry McAuliffe was interviewed by the PBS production company Frontline for its documentary “The Persuaders”. In it the then Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was quoted as stating in reference to the political power of Acxiom and data in 2004.
“If I want to sit at my desk and pull up on my screen the state of Ohio and say who in Ohio is going to say that Education is the number one thing they are going to vote on, six seconds later 1.2 million names will pop up, I then can press buttons to do telemarketing to them send emails to them immediately, send direct mail to immediately or actually send someone to their door to talk to them.”
Acxiom was founded as demographics a mailing list for Democratic Party. It out grew the name many years ago, the word that you know actually comes from the company name. Today Advocates or just voicing an opinion are on social networks help form the basis for credit worthiness, and insurance rates.
These are a direct assault to our liberty and represent a threat to our freedom of speech in its core.
Anyone can buy and use the information gathered by any of these organizations. The collection and uses of your information far exceeds the simple inventory levels, it really isn’t just for marketing anymore. Prices for services, cellular and cable are now tied to credit scores. So are insurance rates and interest rates from banks for cars and home purchases. As society accepts repercussions of actions as a norm, it will begin to adhere to the manipulative principles of large organizations curtailing public criticism.
There are many ways that your name may be associated with an advocacy group. Some might simply get a group list from a social network. Cell phone applications that use GPS coordinate to associate where you are. Facebook tags location data and events it knows about on its website. Other applications that use cell phone information regularly sell geo location data. Each protest or gathering dictates millions of dollars invested in figuring out who was in attendance.
No one has the right to sell your information or associate you with anything or anyone else. Your name is your property. I offer a website to start the removal of your information from many of these third parties. http://itsmyinfo.org
Listed below are a few groups and counts offered by list brokers
|Civil Rights Activists||141,652|
|Family Values Activists||338,521|
|Freedom of Speech Activists||81,537|
|Immigration Reform Activists||26,293|
|Tea Party Activists||918,661|
|Women’s Birth Rights Activists||147,920|
|Environmental Issues Activists||15,835,976|
|Pro Life Activists||61,834|
|Citizens United Activists||197,089|
|Animal Welfare Activists||10,730,478|
|Union Members and Political Activists||27,398,226|
Acxiom also sell lists of people who have attended a political rally, speech, or organized protest of any kind. Full details are available for each of them for less than a dollar.
|District of Columbia||11,617||1,046||1,975|