Yesterday, we told you about the Senate Republicans backing the baby-killing provisions of the Trojan Horse infrastructure bill.
While the linkage to the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the direct funding of abortion is easily the most morally repugnant act we’ve seen from Republican politicians in a long time, the scariest aspect of the bill may be its many surveillance state provisions.
Here are the 18 Surveillance State Senate Republicans who voted to fund a host of new federal snooping programs. We urge CHQ readers and friends to call their state offices at the numbers listed here to demand they vote NO on final passage of the bill:
Roy Blunt of Missouri: (314) 725-4484
Richard Burr of North Carolina: (336) 631-5125
Shelley Moore-Capito of West Virginia: (304) 347-5372
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana: (225) 929-7711
Susan Collins of Maine: (207) 622-8414
Kevin Cramer of North Dakota: (701) 699-7020
Mike Crapo of Idaho: (208) 334-1776
John Hoeven of North Dakota: (701) 250-4618
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: (803) 933-0112
Chuck Grassley of Iowa: (319) 363-6832
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky: (502) 582-6304
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: (907) 586-7277
Rob Portman of Ohio: (614) 469-6774
James Risch of Idaho: (208) 342-7985
Mitt Romney of Utah: (801) 524-4380
Mike Rounds of South Dakota: (605) 224-1450
Thom Tillis of North Carolina: (919) 856-4630
Todd Young of Indiana: (317) 226-6700
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation explained, the cryptocurrency surveillance provision buried in the infrastructure bill is a disaster for digital privacy. While the language is still evolving, the proposal would seek to expand the definition of “broker” under section 6045(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include anyone who is “responsible for and regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets” on behalf of another person. These newly defined brokers would be required to comply with IRS reporting requirements for brokers, including filing form 1099s with the IRS. That means they would have to collect user data, including users’ names and addresses.
The broad, confusing language leaves open a door for almost any entity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem to be considered a “broker”—including software developers and cryptocurrency startups that aren’t custodying or controlling assets on behalf of their users. It could even potentially implicate miners, those who confirm and verify blockchain transactions. The mandate to collect names, addresses, and transactions of customers means almost every company even tangentially related to cryptocurrency may suddenly be forced to surveil their users.
While the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems may be somewhat obscure to the average computer user, tracking your automobile milage and usage pattern certainly is not obscure to the average driver.
While the Biden administration has insisted no gas tax increase or mileage tax will be in the bill, the bill would institute a multi-year “national pilot per kilometer motor vehicle user fee” program that will test data collection methods necessary to implement one.
The bill will fund testing of “collection tools” following vehicle miles traveled, including:
Third-party on-board diagnostic devices (OBD-II)
Applications for smartphones
Telemetry data collected by car manufacturers
Motor vehicle data obtained by auto insurance companies
Data from States that have received a grant under Section 6020 of the FAST Act
Motor vehicle data obtained from petrol stations
Any other method that the secretary considers appropriate
If this sounds like COVID contact tracing for your car you’re not wrong, and the proof of concept for the data collection is applicable to tracking you for any reason, not just to collect the new taxes Biden claims he won’t collect.
And the two items noted above don’t include the billions Biden is asking for to fund artificial intelligence research and the other “infrastructure” necessary to power the new surveillance state Democrats plan to create.
As Chris Kadoch, Chief Technology Officer for Rekor Systems explained in an article for StateTechMagazine.com, “When we think of vehicle recognition technology, ticketing and tolls typically spring to mind. However, thanks to enhanced data capture technology, AI-powered data analysis and data sharing capabilities, this technology can serve as a central hub that powers a host of services, not only public safety applications.” (Emphasis by CHQ.)
Our good friend, principled limited government constitutional conservative Rep. Jim Banks (IN-3) Chairman of the Republican Study Committee has called the infrastructure package a “Trojan Horse” and put out a memo titled “Top 10 Infrastructure Package Roadblocks.” From our perspective, roadblock #1 is that the bill is inextricably tied to repealing the Hyde Amendment and directly funding the killing of over 890,000 babies every year, and Roadblock #2 is the bill’s various surveillance state provisions, only two of which we’ve outlined above. We urge CHQ readers and friends to call the 18 Senators at their state offices or through the Capitol Switchboard at (1-866-220-0044) to demand they vote “NO” on the Trojan Horse infrastructure bill.
Hyde Amendment repeal
federal funding for abortion
March for Life Action
$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill
Surveillance State Senate Republicans
cryptocurrency surveillance provision
gas tax on mileage