American Community Survey – Violation of 4th Amendment?
by Sue Forde
for Citizen Review Online
Recently, we received a visit at our front door from a man who stated he was from the Census Bureau. He said we had been mailed this “Survey” form, and that we hadn’t returned it. My husband explained that we had “not” received any form – and that we don’t get mail at our home, but at our post office box. The man said he wanted to ask us the questions to complete our form – and it wasn’t a good time for us, so he agreed to phone back within the next couple of days. He did not have a printed copy of the form to show us, but gave us a form letter and his business card. The form letter referred to the American Community Survey, so I decided to research it. Boy, was I in for an education!
The Census Bureau has the Survey – a 28-page questionnaire – online at their website: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/questionnaires/2013/Quest13.pdf The more I read it, the angrier I got!
The census, as called for under our U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3), calls for an enumeration of how many people live at any given address. That’s it. There is no Constitutional authority for the federal – or any other – government agency to require a citizen to give information as to their income, how many bedrooms are in their home, how many acres they own, how many computers they own, how many smart phones they have, what time they leave for work in the morning and what time they come home, how many cars they have, how much they pay for rent, utilities, how many mortgages they have on their home and how much they pay monthly for those. Those are just a FEW of the questions “required” on the American Community Survey. (A more comprehensive list of the questions on the Survey are at the bottom of this article.)
While the U.S. Census form contains 10 questions and is sent out every 10 years, the ACS form contains 48 questions and is sent to 250,000 households each month on a rolling basis, according to Daniel Freedman, reporter for The Weekly Standard.
If one chooses not to answer the invasive questions by the federal government agency, there could be a fine of up to $5,000 assessed. At least, that’s what they tell you. The original law calls for a maximum fine of $100; and another law is referenced for the $5,000 amount, which is questionable as to whether it could ever be enforced. From all the research I’ve done so far, no one has actually been charged any fines.
And what about the sanctity of any information you dish over to the federal government? Remember Snowden?2 And many other instances of “hacking” that has happened over the past few years, not to mention any unscrupulous employees within the agency itself who could be identity thieves. How about those thousands of individuals whose private information was “accidentally” placed on a public website for the world to see – and take – by a government agency?1 Do you really want to chance that your personal data might be leaked?3
And what about the “missing” laptops from the Census Bureau in the past? Would you trust your private information to be entered by a stranger onto a laptop?
If a census worker calls you on the telephone, or comes to your door, and asks you for the information that the form calls for, what assurance do you have that the person is not an identity thief? Anyone can make up business cards and a letter.
The Republican House of Representatives voted to defund ACS, but that was overturned by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
There is much information about the American Community Survey on the internet, and I highly recommend you read about it, and educate your family, friends and neighbors. It’s a little-known so-called census “survey”, done in off-years from the Constitutionally-required census, invading our privacy.
An excellent website about what to do is you receive the ACS and do not wish to participate is located here: http://www.truthistreason.net/how-to-legally-refuse-to-participate-in-the-census-survey
Here are a few other articles on the subject:
“The Orwellian American Community Survey: Overreach.” The Weekly Standard.
“American Community Survey: The scam that keeps on scamming” – Tactical Leadership
https://blogs.oracle.com/tacticalleadership/entry/american_community_survey_the_scam (the comments below the article are most interesting, as well).
“Invasion of Privacy: The American Community Survey” – Nolan Chart
- The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Tuesday that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, following concerns from congressional Republicans and agriculture groups that the release could endanger their safety. Read more at Fox News – Data Leak Could Undermine Trust In Government Contractor – http://www.npr.org/2013/06/11/190570939/nsa-leak-could-undermine-trust-of-government-contractor
- Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American computer specialist who worked for theCIA and the NSA and leaked details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. More at Wikipedia.
- Commerce Department agency’s network may have been hacked (The Washington Post) “Anonymous Hacks US Government Site…” “Anonymous claims hack on FBI partner site, shares databases” – NBC News – – “U.S. DOE: We Got Hacked” – Daily Tech –
Questions on the American Community Survey include:
Number including Area Code
Age and Birth Date
If I am of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
What type of house I live in
When my house was built (year)
When I moved into this house (year)
How large is the lot? – How many acres?
What were the actual sales of all agricultural products from this property?
Is there a business on this location?
How many separate rooms are in this house, apartment, or mobile home?
How many of these rooms are bedrooms?
Do I have
Hot and Cold Running Water?
Bathtub or shower?
Sink with a faucet?
Stove or Range?
Do you or any member of the household own or use a computer? Describe what kind(s).
Do you or any member of the household access the internet?
Describe what kind of service (Cable, etc.)
How many vehicles of 1 ton or less are kept at this address?
What fuel is used to heat this house, apartment, or mobile home?
What was the cost of electricity last month?
What was the cost of gas last month?
What was the cost of water and sewer for the past twelve months?
What was the cost of oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc. for the past 12 months?
Did I receive Food Stamps or SNAP?
Is my house, apartment or mobile home part of a condominium, and if yes, what are the fees?
Do I own the house with a mortgage?
Do I own this house free and clear?
Do I rent?
Do I occupy without rent?
What is the monthly rent for this house, apartment, or mobile home?
How much do I think this house, apartment, or mobile home would sell for?
What are the annual property taxes?
What is the annual property and flood insurance?
How much is the regular monthly mortgage?
Does that include the property taxes?
Does that include the insurance?
Do I have a second mortgage on this property?
How much are the monthly payments on all second and junior mortgages?
If a mobile home, how much for personal property tax, site rent, registration fees and license fees?
For EACH person who lives in your home:
Where I was born?
Am I a citizen?
Have I attended college or school in the last three months?
What grade or level of school?
What is my highest degree or level of school completed?
If I have a bachelor’s degree, what is it in?
What is my ancestry or ethnic origin?
Do I speak any other languages besides English at home?
How well do I speak English?
Did I live here 1 year ago?
Where did I live one year ago?
Do I have health insurance?
Do I have difficulty hearing or am I blind?
Do I have difficulty doing physical, mental, or emotional conditions that make it difficult for me to do errands alone, such as shopping or visiting a doctor’s office?
Am I married?
Did I get married, widowed, or divorced in the last twelve months?
How many times have I been married?
What year did I last get married?
Am I a grandparent responsible for a grandchild living here?
How long have I been responsible for the grandchildren?
Have I ever served on active duty?
If so, when?
Do I have a VA service-connected Disability rating?
What is that rating?
Did I work for pay last week at a business?
Last week did I do any work for pay?
At what location did I do this work?
What is the address?
How did I get to work last week?
How many people rode with me to work?
What time did I leave my house to go to work?
How many minutes does it usually take to get to work?
Who was my most recent job with? Name and location
What kind of work do I do?
What are my most important activities or duties?
What are my wages, salary, commissions, bonuses or tips for all jobs for the last twelve months?
What is my self-employment income for the last twelve months?
How much do I receive from interest, dividends, net rental income, royalty income and from estates and trusts (even small amounts)?
What are my social security or Railroad retirement amounts?
What are my Supplemental Social Security Income amounts?
Did I receive any public assistance or welfare payments from state or local welfare offices?
If so, how much?
How much from retirement, survivor or disability pensions did I receive?
Any other sources of income received such as VA payments, unemployment compensation, child support or alimony.
What was my total income in the last twelve months?
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