by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2014, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
One of the marks of a so-called free society is the people have a right to their privacy. One of the marks of a totalitarian or Communist society is there is no privacy.
America is moving away from privacy very fast, and the people don’t seem to know about it, or don’t care, or perhaps have been brainwashed into believing it is the only alternative. I don’t agree with that point of view.
EXAMPLES OF PRIVACY LOSS
There are so many examples of how your privacy has been compromised in the past 100 years, that I don’t know where to begin. Because I work in the health field, I am acutely aware of the following in this area:
1. HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). This law, which is supposed to assure your privacy, is a total sham. Read the fine print! It says that your health information may be shared with about 45 government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. Does that sound like a “privacy act”, as they call it?
HIPPA does the exact opposite of what is claimed for it. That is, it totally destroys the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, which used to be sacred.
Why, you might ask, would the government want all of your health care information? It is so they can plan your health care and also to deny your health care if they so choose. This law needs to be repealed, at once, as it is the kingpin of the loss of privacy in the health care area.
2. The Affordable Care Act. Embedded in the 2700 or so pages of The Affordable Care Act of 2010 is a provision that forces (mandates) doctors and hospitals to switch to electronic record-keeping.
Why, you might ask, would the government want this? Is it for your good, as they say? If your records are private between you and your doctor (which they are not since 1996 and HIPPA), who cares if they are on paper or electronic?
The answer is that electronic records are far easier for the government to scan and record and study – the better to control you with.
3. The proliferation of licenses. The rationale for licensing doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and dozens of other health professionals is that it protects us from bad medical practices. However, medical practices are the sloppiest ever, with hundreds of thousands dying each year from medical mistakes. This is well-documented.
I realized years ago that licenses are not about safety. They are primarily about control, and often about keeping out the competition.
They not only destroy the privacy of doctors and patients. They make sure the doctor does only what the medical boards want them to do, and they keep out the innovators and other competition who do not have the union card – the license.
4. Insurance horrors. I walked into a doctor’s office for a visit some years ago, and was shocked that on the simple form that I was asked to fill out, the doctor requested my social security number. I asked why, and was told it was for insurance purposes. Since when, however, does one need to divulge the social security number to check insurance. It is just another example of what is going on.
I could go through other fields in the same way as I have for health care. However, to keep this short, I will just mention a few of the newer methods of privacy loss being put in place in America and elsewhere.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
Financial privacy. This has been gone for a long time, but is getting even worse. The government hates cash, as many people know, because they can’t track it as easily as they can track electronic transactions. So they have rules in place that no one can obtain more than $10,000.00 in cash, for example, from a bank, without filling out special government paperwork to do so.
Oddly, financial institutions are allowed to share your most private information with other institutions and with the government. They are at least required to tell you this in their “privacy statements”. I get a kick out of these statements, because there is a column that says, What can you do about this sharing of your private information?, and the answer in almost all cases is “Nothing”.
Automobile privacy. Among the most recent horrors are that all automobiles manufactured after 2012, I believe, are required to have a GPS locator in them that does not turn off when you turn off the car.
Computer privacy. Another is the case where a school was found to be spying on its students who had school computers in their home. They were able to use the webcam on the computer to actually see the students in their bedrooms, bathrooms, or wherever they were. This has to do with the government forcing Microsoft to leave “back doors” into all their computers so the government can spy on you. Apple computers are safer, at this time, but who knows for how long.
Cell phone privacy. Plans are underway to have every cell phone contain a GPS locator that will work, even if the phone is off. This may already be in the phones, or it is coming soon.
Internet privacy. Apparently, our government has paid a lot of money to nine large internet and phone companies including Google, Verizon, AT&T, Yahoo and others to keep records of all your phone calls, emails, texts and other communications. When the government comes in and does this, they:
1. Don’t give the companies much choice.
2. Don’t want the truth told to the people of America and elsewhere.
WHY DO GOVERNMENTS SAY THEY NEED SO MUCH SPYING
Governments say they need the loss of privacy in order to protect us from terrorists. However, the health care loss of privacy, for example, has very little, if anything at all, to do with terrorists!
One can argue that there have not been large terror attacks on the USA since Sept. 11, 2001. However, there have been terror attacks in the USA and elsewhere, and “safety” was, is and will always be the excuse for loss of privacy. We must carefully weigh the loss of privacy, and the problem is that the people are not told the truth about their loss of privacy.
Please recall the adage “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE LOSS OF PRIVACY
The only thing I can think of is to elect a new breed of legislators, judges and other leaders at all levels who follow the principles upon which the United States was founded. One of those guiding principles is a right to privacy in all one’s papers and dealings. The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states this clearly, but it has been all but ignored. A similar statement is in every US State Constitution, but these have been ignored there, as well. The Tea Party folks understand this, but not many others.
Some will answer that privacy is dead. Why bother trying to buck the trend? Well, that is exactly what the bureaucrats and liars in government want you to think. It is not true. The laws above can be reversed, and many privacy experts say it would not cause a nation to be less secure. So please do not just accept your almost total loss of privacy so quickly and so sheepishly. It is unbecoming and stupid, and plays into the hands of some government officials who do not deserve your respect and blind obedience.
How can we elect a new breed of leaders, you might ask. You must learn about candidates, and what they really believe. It means you cannot just get your news from one source. Check out the Tea Party and other conservative groups – you might learn the truth.