PJ Media

The ACLU's Glaring Hypocrisy on Privacy Issues

The American Civil Liberties Union prides itself on defending privacy rights as a pet cause. However, as with most ACLU causes, but for double standards they haven’t any standards at all.

There are numerous examples, and most show the ACLU only defends privacy when it is convenient for their agenda. They dove in headfirst to defend “innocent Americans” against the NSA tapping overseas phone conversations with suspected terror connections. However, when it came to fundraising, all concerns for privacy went out the window. In 2006, the ACLU created a massive database of its own members’ financial information.

There are many examples of the ACLU’s hypocrisy regarding personal privacy. For instance, they notoriously defend the privacy rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees. But when it comes to American citizens doing their duty of interrogating jihadists, they hired researchers to take illegal photos of CIA operatives’ “private affairs” to identify them to detainees. Not only did this violate American citizens’ rights, it also put them in danger as the ACLU managed to free some of these prisoners of war.

The White House is quietly working on laws to gain access to the content held on a person’s private hard drive. The Obama administration is tight-lipped on the details, but no alarms are going off at the ACLU.

Even more chilling is the White House’s attempt to collect information on their political adversaries. In early August, they set up a system asking the public to snitch on their fellow citizens by sending an email to White House staffers informing them of other Americans that oppose Obama’s health care plan. One can easily imagine the outcry we would have heard if such an intrusive program had been implemented during the Bush administration.

The ACLU remained silent again.

We wondered if the ACLU was disturbed by this obvious invasion of citizen privacy, so we wrote them a letter:

Will the ACLU now stand up for this program, which is directly against the meaning of the free speech and protest portions of the First Amendment, which is to be able to criticize the government without fear of reprisal?

We received an automated response asking for a donation.

After much public outcry, the ACLU felt pressured enough to release a timid statement — but instead of their usual faux panic, they actually defended the White House:

While it is unclear at this point what the government is doing with the information it is collecting, critics of the administration’s health care proposal should not fear that their names will end up in some government database that could be used to chill their right to free speech.

Of course, the ACLU had no idea what the government would do with this information. They just robotically defended it in blind faith, exposing their lack of true principle.

The current hot topic is the president’s plan for government-run health care. Citizens expressing their First Amendment rights are being smeared as “political terrorists” and “mobs.” Many of these citizens have experienced privacy invasions for speaking out.

The ACLU has remained silent.

Buried in the 1,017 pages of the House Democrats’ health care bill is a little-noticed provision that could give the government access to the checking or credit card information of all Americans. Diana Furchtgott-Roth points out an interesting section of HR3200 that should be alarming for any privacy advocate:

What is envisioned is a “machine-readable health plan beneficiary card” that, in addition to information about a person’s medical history, will contain checking account or credit card information, so as to allow electronic payments. …

The required collection of such data is unprecedented. At no other time has the government sought to collect this type of financial information from everyone in America.

This private data put under the control of government raises alarming questions. The ACLU isn’t asking any of them. Why can’t the government send a bill like current doctors do?

Fortunately, in America, our credit and financial information has always been a private affair and the privacy of American citizens would be compromised under this plan.

Five days ago, I sent an email to the ACLU asking them to express their concerns on this issue. I have yet to see any released statement or reply.

If the current administration and its allies achieve their goal of socializing America, we will experience a deep invasion of personal privacy. But we can expect to hear nothing from the ACLU.

The ACLU selectively believes in civil liberties. They only defend what is in line with their liberal agenda.