Historical examples of US Gov ABUSE of CENSUS data

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http://www.toad.com/gnu/census.html (Note:There are more examples at the link)

Previous abuses of census information

A good reference is an editorial in the Wall Street Journal of 8/8/89, page A10, "Honesty May Not Be Your Best Census Policy", by James Bovard. I found a copy in the SF Public Library on microfilm. Your library probably has it somewhere. It documents a couple of violations.

The most obvious is that census data was used to round up the Japanese-Americans in 1942. "The Census Bureau provided the Army with a list of exactly how many Japanese-Americans lived in given neighborhoods, making it easy to round them up for internment during World War II. Census Bureau spokesman Ray Bancroft insists that this was not a breach of confidentiality because the bureau did not give out the names or exact addresses of Japanese-Americans. This is like someone claiming he bears no responsibility for setting loose on your block a wolf that just happened to gnaw on your leg -- simply because he didn't set the wolf free at your doorstep and tell the wolf to bite you personally."

Other cases occurred in Montgomery County, MD; Pullman, Wash; Long Island Regional Planning Commission; and Urbana, IL; where census data released on a 'block' basis is used to check compliance with local building codes and zoning laws. A block can have as few as 6 houses; the average is 14. This clearly lets these governments pinpoint where to send their inspectors to charge people with violations.

The IRS tried to use computer matching of census data and private mailing lists to track down people wno don't file income taxes, in 1983.

-- IN (IN@dot.com), March 16, 2000


The Constitution authorizes a head count -- and it can possibly even be read that they can (try to) gather any and all information they want. OTH, there is no Constitutional requirement for YOU to answer even one of their intrusive and obnoxious questions.

-- A (A@AisA.com), March 16, 2000.

Doesn't the Constitution REQUIRE a head count?

Anything more is most likely a violation of the fourth ammendment, and in some cases the fifth as well.

-- nothere nothere (notherethere@hotmail.com), March 16, 2000.

Americans aren't responding well (government's view) but responding well (citizen's view). See Matt Drudge today at:


-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), March 16, 2000.


But unfortunately, it does not take the census for our government or any civilian for that matter to find us.

It is amazing to me how privacy issues have skyrocketed, in part at least due to the emergence of e-commerce.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), March 16, 2000.

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