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Census workers collecting GPS coords for your front door

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, May 11, 2009.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Apparently government workers are fanning out across the country now, in preparation for the coming 2010 census. But they're not knocking on doors and asking how many people live there. They are simply stepping up to your door, pressing a few buttons on a handheld device to capture the latitude and longitude, and walking away.

    No, I'm not joking. How many here have seen them?

    This is quite aside from wondering if they have any Constitutional authority to collect this data in the first place.

    My question is, for what do they need this data?

    Any guesses? I admit I'm puzzled.
     
  2. samsara15

    samsara15 Member

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    Good question, Andy. I have not noticed any such people yet.

    I don't know what authority they have to collect this data, nor why they need it. I am fairly sure that the Constitution gives them a broad right to collect Census Data, but I am not sure how specific the Constitution is on this matter. It would certainly not be the first time that the government has exceeded its authority to gather data on Amiercan citizens.
     
  3. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    ??? :confused:
     
  4. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    On the local talk show a few people called in today about the census. The census people are coming to the door pressing a button on a hand held devise and walking away, not asking who lives there or political party affiliaton.

    One lady said they did stop to talk to her because she is building a house on her property and they are living in a moble home till its built. The census worker wanted to know what house is the primary house. the woman said the house being built will be, so the census worker walked to that door step pressed her button and walked away without any other questions or explination.

    strange.


    I wonder if they are paid by the mile?
     
  5. samsara15

    samsara15 Member

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    Ooops..egg on face...
     
  6. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. According to Yahoo Answers:

    I couldn't find those exact words in the Census Bureau's website, but I did find this:

    It sounds plausible to me.

    Not that it couldn't be some nefarious plot to control the population, but it doesn't look that way to me.
     
  7. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    Looking back over the powers that the Bush Administration has claimed in the name of fighting terrorism (such as viewing your bank account, and wiretapping your phone without a warrant)... I think it is safe to assume that any digital information collected by the government can and will be used against you if the circumstances are appropriate.

    In other words, we have seen a continual weakening of the Constitution to the point where U.S citizens almost have no remaining "Constitutional protections". We, as a country, are being governed by whatever policies and laws a President/ Congress enacts under the circumstances at the time.

    As a student of history I was truly shocked by the authorities that our governmental authorities has grabbed in the name of fighting terrorism - it was borderline dictatorial.

    There may not be a "nefarious plot" to collect information on US citizens right now, but it certainly has the potential to be misused in the future when some government agency is looking from John Doe, or Abdullah bin Obrama or whoever.

    The government has no need for this information - other than to "improve" their census taking techniques. Since the census office already uses statistical techniques to adjust for errors in data collection techniques, the census will NEVER be 100% accurate.

    The more digital data any government collects from its citizens has an equal and opposite reduction in your personal freedom. This may be a small bite out of your freedom, but remember how to eat an elephant..."one bite at a time".
     
  8. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    I am just guessing you dont have the right to not have your gps location point of home known...
     
  9. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    You're probably right.. right now the limits of privacy are being tested by Google mapping. Can they take my picture and match it with the census data they collect and, in turn, match it with my Social Security and tax return and my credit report... and maybe even my "permanent record" they kept in elementary school when I threw snowballs at the teacher and went to the principals office?

    The issue is more a matter of collecting and categorizing personal data by the government.

    Article [IV.]
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Just how far does "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects..." really go? Once again, it is the collection, assembly, compilation and correlation of this data that is threatening.
     
  10. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    One possible use for this GPS data occurs to me.

    Gerrymandering. The manipulation of the borders of voting districts, to assure that Congressman X of the 45th congressional district, will always have a solid Democrat-voting majority. Makes districts look like paint splatters on a map sometimes, but hey, no one said it would be pretty, just effective.

    Can also be used to CURE gerrymandering, of course, but give me a break.

    Give me a list of addresses, party registrations from voter-reg data (freely available), and now the GPS coords of each house, and I'll write you a computer program that produces Democrat majorities (or Republican majorities, take your choice) for EVERY state that votes by congressional districts.

    How? Easy.

    You want California to elect more Democrat congressmen to the U.S. House of Reps, than Republican congressmen? I'll set up most of the districts to have 55% Dem majorities, and a smaller number that have 95% Republican majorites. Even if Repubs outnumber Dems in the state, I'll give you 60 districts that elect Dem congressmen while only 20 elect Repubs.

    With EXACT knowledge of the physical location of each Repub and Dem voter, I'll guarantee delivery of the exact results you want. Some of the districts might stretch from San Diego to Geyserville, winding thru one neighborhood after another to pick off Republican households while avoiding Democrat ones, but do you care?
     
  11. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Well this is tricky, and as Hobo mentions that Google is doing some things that might be considered really questionable. It might be great for quicker delivery time for a pizza or chinese food. It also makes the ability for someone to scout out crime victims and predators that much easier. Then of course is that factor of men in black suits coming to your door and getting shipped off to the secret prison camp in Antarctica. They have it in the middle of an iceberg and a penguin colony on top. :cool:
     
  12. Mr.Dysfunctional

    Mr.Dysfunctional New Member

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    maybe its part of secert plot to secertly sell off land to china and they are trying to get an exact worth of the entire U.S. Land mass...

    I think 100 trillion dollars is a fair deal.
     
  13. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I dont disagree. The internet age has made this much easier, it is amazing how much information can be found on someone through just a little effort, including your address and a street level view of your structure, with GPS coordinates included. Also a sattelite view of your yard.

    I wish there was a much easier and legal way to "opt out" of that sort of treatment.
     
  14. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    I think one giant step forward would be for Congress pass a law that prohibits government agencies from linking computers from different agencies. The temptation is to make all data comparable within departments - which means that many of these government agencies can (or will soon be able to) cross-reference all sorts of data.

    Every major governmental department should have an completely independent computer system which is incompatibly with the data from other agencies. Companies should also be required to purge all data older than 7 years (like bankruptcy records and tax records). I had a bank recently ask me for me to verify my identity over the telephone, and they asked questions about home address and places I worked almost 30 years ago!

    I have also become very defensive about my personal information. I change passwords frequently and keep multiple e-mail addresses for different purposes. I never use my real name, unless I am forced to. I use a self-employed secretarial service (she works out of her home) - and I use her address for almost everything. I do a search on my name on Google, and try to get it removed. It is almost a hobby of mine to remain anonymous.

    Of course, if the IRS, the Social Security and my bank team up, they could share a lot of information which is frankly none of their business.
     
  15. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Another possible reason for the govt collecting GPS coordinates of every house:

    There is a Federal law saying that no one can have a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. It was thrown out as unconstitutional in 1995 (US v. Lopez), but I hear that it was re-written and re-passed.

    Every time you buy a gun from a dealer, you must fill out a Federal form that lists, among other things, your address. And many states and localities have similar forms, even for buying a used weapon from a private party - the transaction must be done at a dealer.

    So now, with exact GPS coords of every address, it becomes a simple thing for anti-gun officials to draw a 1000-foot-radius circle around every school on a map, and mark the gun-owning households within that circle. Then a little visit from the local heat, for confiscation purposes. It's for the children, after all.

    BTW, try getting a map of your city or town, and draw 1,000-foot radius circles around every school, public and private. Daycares, YMCAs with pools that give swim lessons, horse corrals that teach riding etc., are fair game. Then completely black in every circle, and see how much un-colored territory is left on your map.
     
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