We noted in March that all U.S. intelligence agencies – including the CIA and NSA – are going to spy on Americans’ finances.
The IRS is joining the fun.
U.S. News and World Report notes today:
[The IRS] will use in robo-audits and data mining [and] it has told government and industry groups that its computers are capable of scanning multiple networks at the same time to collect “matching” comprehensive profiles for every taxpayer in America. Such profiles will likely include shopping records, travel, social interactions and information not available to the public, such as health records and files from other government investigators, according to IRS documents.
The IRS is following the philosophy of former Obama regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein [remember him?], who advocates using technology tools and behavioral science policies to “nudge” people to do the right thing. In the case of the IRS, that policy so far has fallen most heavily on lower-income taxpayers and has done little to collect substantially more tax revenue.
Harry Surden, a University of Colorado—Boulder Law School associate professor and former fellow at Stanford’s Center for Computers and Law, who has done in-depth studies on the use of technology by government … has found that data mining and new technology make possible a level of government intrusion into personal lives that few realize is possible.