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Just This One Time I Am Siding With The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)...

Updated on July 16, 2013

Just This One Time I Am Siding With The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)…

After reading and digesting this particular blog, one may have to look outside to see whether pigs are flying or one may have to consult the religious authorities to see if the Hell that Jesus concocted for the Devil and his angels has indeed frozen over because of my siding with the American Civil Liberties Union (hereinafter ACLU) on a Constitutional issue. The issue in question is the IRS almost, arbitrary right it says it has to look at one’s e-mail… supposedly to see if those whose e-mails are been invaded are not paying their fair taxes. This invasion and blatantly apparent invasion of our Fourth Amendment’s right by the IRS was predicated on a law enacted during the Reagan Administration, which basically said that the IRS has the right to look at our e-mails if they are 180 days old. The IRS is saying that the Fourth Amendment’s rights that protect our privacy from unreasonable searches and seizures do not pertain to our e-mails – notwithstanding that the court in a relatively recent seminal decision on the Constitutional issue, in essence, said that it is hard to believe that the Fourth Amendment's rights that historically protected our privacy do not now cover the contents of our e-mails....

There are those who are saying that the IRS is taking advantage of the Reagan era law because, then, no one thought that the advent of e-mails would have taken off the way it did… evidenced by the fact that literally millions of e-mails are exchanged every day. But the access the IRS has to our e-mails also is giving fodder to the conspiracy theorists, and rightly so in this instance, because why would the IRS want to look at e-mails, supposedly to see if it can secure more taxes for the government, when it can procure the taxes by traditional means? One would think that a government entity like the IRS, which, mostly has a negative reputation, warranted or not, would want to be far away from the kind of negative publicity involved with the breaching of the public’s privacy by having access to the latter’s emails. There are times when one should not partake in activities simply because it could do so because there are other germane considerations. Yes, the law may give the IRS the right to look at private e-mails, but the IRS has worked diligently to rehabilitate its less than ideal reputation it had in the late Eighties and early Nineties, which was the catalyst that gave rise to the Militia Men movement.

I hope that the ACLU and our legislatures can prevail on the IRS to give up this invasion of privacy, except in specific , codified exceptions; the IRS’ reluctance to give up the spying into our e-mails is one of the reasons there is such mistrust for the government, especially with agencies like the IRS. I know historically that tax collectors have always been hated… after all, even The Christ was accused of hanging out with them… but the beef now is even more grating given that our privacy is available to the IRS and its agents - whether our private thoughts have anything to do with our hiding assets. In this continuing theme, the IRS should be careful about its image since it does not want to be seen or spoken of in the same vein as the Nazis Gestapo or other governmental organizations that spied on its people… because we know such tactics are addicting, and can quickly morph into even more invasive breaches of the citizens’ privacy, akin to scenarios depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. The silly personal e-mails I may have written and sent to my siblings, wife, and friends, should be shared among us only – not for IRS agents to be privy to such personal musings, especially since they are void of any scheme to avoid paying my taxes.


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