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The EPA and Your Privacy?

EPA ACKNOWLEDGES RELEASING PERSONAL DETAILS ON FARMERS,
SENATOR SLAMS AGENCY
By Joseph Weber
Published April 09, 2013
FoxNews.com
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An excerpt from this report (full text follows)

Sen. John Thune, who originally complained about the release, slammed the EPA for trying to retroactively recover the sensitive data.
“It is INEXCUSABLE for the EPA to release the personal information of American families and then call for it back, knowing full well that the erroneously released information will never be fully returned,” he said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

“While EPA acknowledging that it erred is a first step, more must be done to protect the personal information of our farmers and ranchers now and in the future.

I will continue to demand answers from the EPA on how this information was collected and why it is still being distributed to EXTREME environmental groups to the detriment of our farm and ranch families.”

The information on livestock and produce farmers was sought through a Freedom of Information Act request by the groups EARTH JUSTICE, THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL AND THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUST. They were given information on roughly 80,000 FARMERS AND RANCHERS.
Pew returned the original information, per the agency’s request Thursday, according to documents obtained by Fox.

The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.

Thune, of South Dakota, where 500 farmers and ranchers had their information made public, sent a letter Monday to the EPA requesting the agency answer a list of questions — including whether agency officials reviewed the information to see whether the release complied with the federal Privacy Act of 1974.

“The EPA has threatened the health and safety of agriculture producers and their families and has damaged the security of our food system,” Thune said. “There is a growing gap of trust between America’s farm and ranch families and the EPA. Much of this LACK OF TRUST IS DUE TO EPA’S AGGRESSIVE REGULATORY AGENDA.”

Other concerns expressed by Thune, farm bureaus and others include whether the EPA first consulted with THE DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE AND HOMELAND SECURITY, WHICH HAD ALREADY ADVISED AGAINST COMPILING A PUBLIC DATABASE WITH SIMILAR INFORMATION and whether the EPA still intends to create such a record.

“Does the EPA intend to gather any more personal information on livestock producers?” Thune asked in his letter to agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe.
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My comment – Freedom of speech is INHERENT TO AMERICAN FREEDOM

The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution Bingham said in a speech from March 31, 1871 that “the words ‘equal protection of the laws’ were more than a glittering generality”, but “that they were to be enforced to the extent of securing all guarantees of life, liberty, and property as provided by the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of the United States.”[60] Thus it was Congress power to enforce laws guaranteed to all for the protection of life, liberty and property from arbitrary government action.[60]

If SORRY WORKS as an excuse, Who’s privacy will the EPA violate NEXT.

(continue reading if you are concerned)

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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.

According to a document obtained by FoxNews.com, the EPA said “some of the personal information that could have been protected … was released.” Though the EPA has already sent out the documents, the agency now says it has since redacted sensitive details and asked the environmental groups to “return the information.”

But Sen. John Thune, who originally complained about the release, slammed the EPA for trying to retroactively recover the sensitive data.

“It is INEXCUSABLE for the EPA to release the personal information of American families and then call for it back, knowing full well that the erroneously released information will never be fully returned,” he said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
“While EPA acknowledging that it erred is a first step, more must be done to protect the personal information of our farmers and ranchers now and in the future.
I will continue to demand answers from the EPA on how this information was collected and why it is still being distributed to extreme environmental groups to the detriment of our farm and ranch families.”
The information on livestock and produce farmers was sought through a Freedom of Information Act request by the groups EARTH JUSTICE, THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL AND THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUST. They were given information on roughly 80,000 FARMERS AND RANCHERS.

Pew returned the original information, per the agency’s request Thursday, according to documents obtained by Fox.
The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.
Thune, of South Dakota, where 500 farmers and ranchers had their information made public, sent a letter Monday to the EPA requesting the agency answer a list of questions — including whether agency officials reviewed the information to see whether the release complied with the federal Privacy Act of 1974.

“The EPA has threatened the health and safety of agriculture producers and their families and has damaged the security of our food system,” Thune said. “There is a growing gap of trust between America’s farm and ranch families and the EPA. Much of this LACK OF TRUST IS DUE TO EPA’S AGGRESSIVE REGULATORY AGENDA.”

Other concerns expressed by Thune, farm bureaus and others include whether the EPA first consulted with THE DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE AND HOMELAND SECURITY, WHICH HAD ALREADY ADVISED AGAINST COMPILING A PUBLIC DATABASE WITH SIMILAR INFORMATION and whether the EPA still intends to create such a record.

“Does the EPA intend to gather any more personal information on livestock producers?” Thune asked in his letter to agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe.

The EPA said the data was related to farms in 29 states with “concentrated animal feeding operations” and that the released information was part of the agency’s commitment to “ensure clean water and public-health protection.”

The groups wanted the information, they say, because such large-scale operations are a major source of water pollution and they want to hold the EPA accountable for enforcing the Clean Water Act.

Critics have characterized EARTH JUSTICE AND THE ORGANIZATIONS AS BEING “EXTREMIST GROUPS” and say the released information included data on family farmers who feed fewer than 1,000 animals, which excludes them from having to comply with the Act.

“This information details my family’s home address,” J.D. Alexander, a Nebraska cattle farmer and former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told FarmFuture.com. “THE ONLY THING IT DOESN’T DO IS CHAUFFEUR THESE EXTREMISTS TO MY HOUSE.”

In response, Jon Devine, an attorney, wrote in a blog for the Natural Resources Defense Council: “The most irresponsible charge made by NCBA is that providing this information to public interest groups somehow may facilitate criminal acts against facilities. That accusation is entirely unwarranted. NRDC and Pew condemn such illegal activities.”
The EPA said the majority of the data was already publicly available through state databases, web sites and federal and state permits, or is required to be released under federal or state law.

However, in response to privacy concerns raised by agricultural groups, the agency redacted sections of information from 10 of the 29 states that contained some personal data, the release said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/09/epa-acknowledges-giving-out-personal-info-in-request-that-included-data-on/#ixzz2W6vi9FgX
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Monday, June 10, 2013
EPA Turns Over Farmers’ Names to Environmental Groups: The American Federal Government Out of Control
As one American sits scared for his life in Hong Kong as he exposed how the NSA was spying on Americans through their phone calls, we get another example of just how little the federal government protects the privacy of Americans despite their Constitutional rights. We learn today the EPA has been turning over the names of farmers it deems dangerous to radical environmental groups.

Townhall reports of another infringement of privacy by an out of control American federal government:

We’ve known for months now that the Environmental Protection Agency has been leaking the private information of small farmers to radical environmental groups, some of which are full of attorneys constantly snooping around for a lawsuit.

According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”

The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.

Corruption in the American federal government is at an all time high. This is clearly a government that is out of control and no longer is of the people, by the people, for the people. Rather, it is a force of tyranny that resembles the Soviet police state I was taught to hate when I was a child.
Posted by Bungalow Bill
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Rogue EPA Staff Spies On U.S. Farmers, Releases Data
Posted 06/11/2013 07:04 PM ET
Privacy: As long as we’re talking about leaks that should be prosecuted, let’s consider the leaking by the Environmental Protection Agency of the personal data about farmers to their environmentalist opponents.
We saw such leaking of data compiled on one group to its political opponents in the IRS scandal. In that case, the IRS leaked the 2008 confidential financial documents of the National Organization for Marriage to the rival Human Rights Campaign. At that time, Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor, was the president of the HRC. Solmonese also was a 2012 Obama campaign co-chairman.
Now a letter from a group of 24 senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe claims that the EPA has “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations.”
“It is our understanding,” the senators say, “that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for 10 states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”
The data are also said to contain even the GPS coordinates for each location.
“Unlike most regulated facilities, farms and ranches are also homes and information regarding these facilities should be treated and released with that understanding,” the letter said of the data released in response to an FOIA request by Earth Justice, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pew Charitable Trust.
From unrestricted NSA surveillance to IRS “special scrutiny” of Tea Party groups, invasions of privacy seem par for the course by an administration that wants to know everything about everybody, use that information as a weapon of intimidation and, at least in the case of the NSA, keep it stored forever in a massive facility being built in Utah.
Not long ago Nebraska’s congressional delegation sent an angry letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson complaining that the EPA had exceeded its legislative and constitutional authority by conducting drone surveillance flights over Nebraska and Iowa farms looking for violations of the Clean Water Act.
It’s no wonder Jackson used secret email accounts to conduct her business, even to the point of creating a fake identity, “Richard Windsor,” to hide what she needed to keep hidden and evade open-records laws.
Drones, fake identities and now the EPA releasing personal data to activists’ political enemies. Big Brother is really watching us. Will anyone be prosecuted? Can this administration be trusted?

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061113-659663-epa-spies-on-farmers-releases-data.htm#ixzz2W6vG51yh
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