Invasion of Privacy :The American Community Survey
My government wants to know what race I am, how many rooms my home has, if it is paid for, when I leave for work, and how much money I made during the last twelve months. This same group has also lost, misplaced, or had stolen over 250 laptops. Would you submit to this invasion of privacy? by EJ Moosa
Monday, March 2, 2009
I received a letter telling me that soon I would be receiving the American Community Survey, and that I was required to complete it and send it back. I was told that this information was crucial to the planning of my community for such important infrastructure items as fire stations, libraries, and schools.
The following week I received the 28 page booklet asking me for information that I would not share with 99.9% of the people I know. According to the US Constitution, a census is authorized once every ten years. If you complain to the Census Bureau, they point to Congress for authorizing the American Community Census. My contention is that this is unconstitutional. I reviewed my copy of the Constitution and saw no amendments that altered the frequency of the Census. If I have overlooked it, please point this out to me.
Second, the Fourth Amendment guarantees my right to be secure .
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.
To gather all of the information below, they would have to invade my home, and search my documents for this data. I contend the information requested is my property and the US Government has no valid claim upon it.
My answers to this survey are not private forever, as in 72 years they are released to the public. None of the questions beyond how many people live at my address would seem to apply to fire stations, libraries, or schools, and so, I must confess I will not be answering them.
According to the Washington Post, over 1,100 laptops have been reported missing from the Commerce Department since 2001 including over 250 from the Census Bureau.
Do I really want the answers to the questions below floating around on a laptop that is misplaced or stolen?
Searching the internet, I have discovered I may be in for some harassment as Big Brother attempts to force me to complete this form. I have read reports of Census workers harassing individuals in an attempt to get them to complete the survey. For some interesting stories check out this link.
You will read some interesting stories about what will be done to collect the data.
Since this is not the year 2010 (truth be known I would answer this survey the same way if it was 2010), I feel in no way compelled to share with the government the answers to the following questions about my life the Federal Government wants to know:
Phone Number including Area Code
Age and Birth Date
If I am of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
What type of house I live in
When my house was built(year)
When I moved into this house(year)
How large is the lot?
Is there a business on this location?
How many separate rooms are in this house, apartment, or mobile home?
How many of these rooms are bedrooms?
Do I have
Hot and Cold Running Water?
Bathtub or shower?
Sink with a faucet?
Stove or Range?
How many vehicles of 1 ton or less are kept at this address?
What fuel is used to heat this house, apartment, or mobile home?
What was the cost of electricity last month?
What was the cost of gas last month?
What was the cost of water and sewer for the past twelve months?
Did I receive Food Stamps?
Is my house, apartment or mobile home part of a condominium, and if yes, what are the fees?
Do I own the house with a mortgage?
Do I own this house free and clear?
Do I rent?
Do I occupy without rent?
What is the monthly rent for this house, apartment, or mobile home?
How much do I think this house, apartment, or mobile home would sell for?
What are the annual property taxes?
What is the annual property and flood insurance?
How much is the regular monthly mortgage?
Does that include the property taxes?
Does that include the insurance?
Do I have a second mortgage on this property?
How much are the monthly payments on all second and junior mortgages?
Where I was born?
Am I a citizen?
Have I attended college or school in the last three months?
What is my highest degree or level of school completed?
If I have a bachelor's degree, what is it in?
What is my ancestry or ethnic origin?
Do I speak any other languages besides English at home?
How well do I speak English?
Did I live here 1 year ago?
Do I have health insurance?
Do I have difficulty hearing or am I blind?
Do I have difficulty doing physical, mental, or emotional conditions that make it difficult for me to do errands alone, such as shopping or visiting a doctor's office?
Am I married?
Did I get married, widowed, or divorced in the last twelve months?
How many times have I been married?
What year did I last get married?
Am I a grandparent responsible for a grandchild living here?
How long have I been responsible for the grandchildren?
Have I ever served on active duty?
If so, when?
Do I have a VA service-connected Disability rating?
What is that rating?
Did I work for pay last week at a business?
Last week did I do any work for pay?
At what location did I do this work?
What is the address?
How did I get to work last week?
How many people rode with me to work?
When did I leave my house to go to work?
How many minutes does it usually take?
Who was my most recent job with? Name and location
What kind of work do I do?
What are my most important activities or duties?
What are my wages for the last twelve months?
What is my self-employment income for the last twelve months?
What are my interest and dividends(even small amounts)?
What are my social security or Railroad retirement amounts?
What are my Supplemental Social Security Income amounts?
Did I receive any public assistance or welfare payments from state or local welfare offices?
If so, how much?
What was my total income in the last twelve months?
(To my shock, there is no question about capital gains)
As I said, I cannot imagine giving anyone I know the answers to all of these questions, and I will not be doing so now.
All I will say is that one person lives here. If that affects the fire stations, libraries, and schools in a negative way, so be it. But the rest of the information is personal.
How far are we willing to go to let the government into our lives? Is there no limit to what they can sk of us? Or does it fall upon us to not only say "NO", but "HELL NO!!!"
I understand there is a $100 fine for not completing the form, and a $500 fine for giving false information. Perhaps this could be a new source of revenue for the government: keep your privacy for a $100 fee.
The Federal Government is supposed to do an accurate headcount every ten years to allocate Representatives for Congress. They are not supposed to dive into my private life regardless of what they believe.
From the questions they are asking, I can conclude that they are trying to determine how much more "wealth" they can remove from me so that we can "share prosperity" in the future. To provide this Federal Government with this information can only be asking for trouble in the future.
Did you happen to receive the American Community Survey? If so, what did you do? I would love to read your story.
Did you like this article? If you did, Thumb It! 404
thumbs so far
The views expressed
in this article are those of EJ Moosa only and
do not represent the views of Nolan Chart, LLC or its affiliates.
EJ Moosa is solely responsible for the contents
of this article and is not an employee or otherwise affiliated
with Nolan Chart, LLC in his/her role as a columnist.
In 2000, I received the "long form" census, and had the same reaction that you have. We are racing ever faster to a 1984-style society where every thought, word, and deed are scrutinized by the government. I refuse to be part of that deadly slide.
In 2000, I simply completed the part that asked how many people live in my home, and their names; put it back in the envelope and returned it. About a month later, a lady came walking up my driveway with a census worker badge and a clipboard. I gave her the same information and explained to her that I considered anything further to be an invasion of my privacy and my 4th Amendment rights. She persisted in her questions and I politely informed her that if she didn't leave my property immediately that I was going to the telephone to call the police. She left and that was the end of it.
MLK was right in his idea that non-violent passive resistance is the most effective way to make a statement. Simply refuse to obey their edicts. If all of us peacefully refused to answer their census questions (or pay their taxes), the message would get through. Unfortunately too many in this country have forgotten what it means to be a patriot.
(I find that I'm referring more and more to "their edicts", "their taxes", and "their census." It no longer is "my government," and "our laws." I wonder how long it will be before it is no longer, "my country.")
This information will come in handy when they realize that they can use your extra bedrooms, and the extra space in your vehicle, to assist those that are less fortunate(and they can no longer tax you because the greenback is worthless).
If your cash can be confiscated, so can your other material belongings.
I am really sad to read your opinion of the American Community Survey. There are some things you should know:
1. If you respond to the survey by mail, it will never be on any laptop. It will be read directly into mainframe computers.
2. The data you provide are IMMEDIATELY separated from your address, so no analysis is done making the connection between them. The Census Bureau goes to extraordinary lengths to preserve privacy and confidentiality.
3. The information is needed so it can be AGGREGATED (with the responses of many others) and used to inform policy-making and allocation of resources throughout society--by business, non-profits, and religious organizations as well as by the government.
4. The information will never be released, even after 72 years. Only the information collected in the decennial census is released after 72 years.
5. If you don't respond, the Census Bureau will try to call you. If that doesn't work, they will come out to your home. If you respond then, when the enumerator comes, the data will be on a laptop.
6. Go to www.census.gov/acs for more information about this critically important survey.
Got one of these a couple years back. Took a big black Sharpie marker and put a big X across every single page, wrote a nasty couple of paragraphs on the front cover detailing what they can do with their survey, and stuffed it all back in the envelope and returned it. Haven't heard a peep from them since.
I will grudgingly supply the number of people in the house when asked during a real census. ANYTHING else, even my name, is none of their business.
My wife and I recently got the 2009 survey in the mail. I took one look at the lengthy survey probing into our most private affairs and threw it away. Then the phone calls started; at first they were "private" calls which we refused to answer. Then the calls were made by a 3rd party on behalf of the census bureau; we refused to answer. Then a census worker came by our house and dropped off a copy of the statutory provisions enumerating the civil penalties for refusing to answer, or providing false answers. I will never answer their questions other than to say how many people live in our house.
Posted By: In Western PA
Date: 2009-05-29 22:45:06
I recieved one in 2006, I think. I threw it away and never heard from anyone about it. If I get another one I will contact an attorney, and probably end up throwing that one away too. They are doing a census in 2010, they can get the constitutionally required info from me at that time.
Another farce and waste of my money is this GPS business. If they use Google Earth for FREE, they can find my house, and most everyone else's on the entire fricken planet. But NOOOO, they have to go out and PAY census scab workers 15 bucks an hour to collect the GPS coordinates of my front door. WHY?
I think the true reasons of all this survey and measuring business is for more nefarious 1984 style Orwellian monitoring of us. It is NOT simply for the "census". Remember the Trojan Horse?
In the 38 years I have been married I have never seen census taker at my home...nor received any form in the mail...(maybe the 6 large dogs had something to do with that (don\'t know)...I am hoping that it stays that way...the government is totally out of line...I pay my taxes, property taxes, insurances....they need no other from me...just the names and ages of the people living in my home...This is the only time that I would invoke the ACLU....
Don't you just love Patty Becker? I've read her comments before. She may have to get used to being sad.
I received the CB' 90 harassment treatment well over a year ago. I shut down the landline so that the CB calls didn't go though to my answering machine and didn't answer my door when the reps came. I had 2 reps visiting me. A camera set up to watch them captured their cars. Didn't take much to find out where they lived either.
Received my second mailing, been informed over the phone that I could be charged with a $5,000 fine. I am refusing to anwser, and I wrote my Congressman stating that this is nothing but the Federal Government trying to expand its control and influence in the day to day life of the populace, by ballot if possible and by bullets if not. I have been told that I may receive a personal vistitation. I will have my video phone ready to record and will be sending it to the local TV network. Maybe something good will come out of it, I just might be famous like Joe the Plumber. I wonder if the census worker that comes to the door can out run a dog?
The first one I opened and when i saw the questions and how personal they were, I shredded the document. The second one went right into the garbage unopened as i have the right to filter my snail mail and determine which letters enter my house, and I can tell if it doesn't have a first class stamp, it's garbage and never gets in. The phone calls recently started, and as soon as I hear them say they are from the census bureau, I say no thanks, I'm not interested, and hang up. Good ideas to have a video camera and a copy of the 4th amendment handy--an't wait for the next level of harassment.
Do you guys really think that you have privacy? If you knew how much about you was already out there about you, you would be shocked! and NOT by big brother either. as for the dogs well, your homeowners insurance should cover the cost of the injuries that are inflicted and then most likey ,They will cancel your policy. oh and do you like having services for your town? many of the business's use the staticiscal info, for where to place a business and who they will hire. the federal funds for transportation use the data too. how many people are carpooling etc. do the teachers in your town get paid as much as the teachers in another state? oh wait how much does it cost to live where you live? can you or your family afford to really move to that other state and do you even want to? how do you think info like that is collected? oh wait the CENSUS pays real people not scabs to do the job correctly and to let the people know that the info is important and they appricate the people who do take part. reporters search to find info, for the stories that they let people know about. Where is the Best Place To Live in the USA. is one of those stories. they go to the bureau for the info. many people use the info. students in school, why be so hard?
Patty Becker mentions in her post above that as soon as the government receives your survey, the data you provide is immediately separated from your address. (She doesn't say that the data is separated from your name. If it's not separated from your name, then having your address separated is of little significance.) If your name and address are indeed separated from the data you give, I suppose a case could be made that the government's purpose in collecting this data is a benign one. But - if the purpose is benign - if there are no nefarious reasons for collecting this data - why not allow those who respond to do so anonymously?
I work for a research company that uses this information weekly to help provide funding to schools, libraries, nonprofit organizations, illiterate children, people with drug issues, and to create overall Community Assesment Reports. By you refusing to respond because you think your rights are being violated, you are harming everyone around you. If you are so conserned about your privacy why are you using a computer? You know they can get all the private information they could possibly want about you straight through the internet...
You really dont understand, do you EJ? You really should go to a census training some day and learn a little about the stuff you are talking about.
You will be happy to know that the census next year will only contain 10 questions; simple ones that even you might be able to answer without throwing a hissy fit. Although I am sorry to inform you that the ACS will continue to be held, surveying 2% of the population each year. Perhaps you could move to a different country before your name comes up! I think that would make everyone happy!
Let's not forget the abuses of the census in the past. During World War II they used it to round up anyone who disclosed they were of Japanese heritage for the internment camps. Even more recently its been use to track anyone who disclosed they were of Arab heritage in the name of national security. The census is racial profiling at its best. It really hit home though this week when a census worker threatened to have my dad arrested and fined when he questioned who the stranger on his doorstep was. This was after the guy scared the living daylights out of my 12 year old sister who answered the door. It doesn't matter which side of the political fence you're on with this issue, there's plenty to hate about it for everyone. As for Patty Becker, she's the Executive Director at the Southeast Michigan Census Council so her views should come as no surprise.
First, I'd like to say I have worked for the Census bureau, Dept. of Commerce, on several occasions in the past few decades for a little extra income, both as an enumerator and mapping during dicentennial census years.
Next I'd like to state that I received this American Community Survey in the mail earlier this year, and I set it at the bottom of my "to do" list of priorities, as I was swamped with real life emergency situations. Some time went by and I received another letter saying that it was my Duty to fill the form out, against the law if I didn't fill the form out, and would be receiving another form in the mail in case I lost the first one, which they did send another one. Then they started calling.
So I looked at the survey and couldn't believe some of the questions they were asking. I was perplexed, as this was not a census form, but just a Stasi type inquisition.
I looked up my civil rights, and if I recall, even the ACLU were telling people that yes, the government could fine people, so just fill it out survey and be done with it.
I didn't agree, but filled out the form and sent it back. I kept wondering why, with all this new Homeland security interagency sharing going on, why do we the people have to be subjected to such interrogating question, repeatedly, over and over, by individual governmental and corporate entities.
Well, sending the questionnaire back in didn't seem to satisfy the census bureau. After some time went by, they called and said some of my answers weren't quite good enough. I was astonished and by now becoming alarmed by their inquisition type questioning. I'm not kidding. Of most concern to them was Race, financial status, health and then the census lady started arguing with me about the doors or entrances on my house and if business was separated from house entrance and all this home lay out curiosity, which has NO reasoning for marketing purposes, school/emergency funding, etc., etc. Neither does the race question. It wasn't good enough that I put down what color I was, they wanted to break it down for them and find out more of my genealogical make up!
If I recall, IBM started making cards to keep track of certain types of information on people. The Nazis used the IBM cards and machines to sort people out during WWII.
This is serious and a harbinger of what is coming, or perhaps already exists. Prairy
Apparently I was grandfathered into the ACS since the former owner of my new home had participated. When I balked, the enumerator began visiting my gated community, unannounced...and leaving her business card in my door. Effectively announcing to all that I was not home. (I travel a lot.) When I called her and asked her to cease and desist, I got a bunch of rhetoric. And then I asked "How did you get the gate code to my gated community?" She hemmed and hawed, then said "The government has all the codes." Next, I emailed the regional office in Colorado. A supervisor called me back and after more rhetoric, insisting that I was legally obligated to participate, she told me that the gate code had been given to the enumerator by the previous owner. So then I'm thinking, "So they are liars too? More reason I don't want them in or around my home." I thought I had dodged a bullet, and then in June of this year, a friend was visiting me...a friend who has a traumatic brain injury. While I was out, another enumerator, whose business card indicates she's a supervisor, interviewed my houseguest...despite the fact that he clearly told her he had a brain injury, memory issues, and was under a doctor's care. This suspect information has now been submitted for my household. So, my question now is: don't they care about the accuracy of the data they submit? And I began an email campaign. I easily found, via the internet, where these two local enumerators live and work...and in addition to emailing anyone whose address at the census bureau I could find, and any local political contact I have (I worked in TV news for many years,) I also emailed the enumerators employers and employers of their spouses. The second woman's husband is a maintenance worker at a neighboring HOA. I figured I'd let another HOA know what may be in store for their residents. Well, I got a call from someone at the Commerce Dept. Thinking he was investigating my privacy violation, I called him back, and he was accusing me of harassing the enumerators!!! Weeks have passed, and just this past weekend the first enumerator was back in my community, interviewing my neighbor...violating the gate security AGAIN, and parking down the street so her car wouldn't be identified during the interview, I suppose. I have people I know in our state's AG's office, and our senators and Congressmen's offices investigating this. I am most concerned about the privacy issues, and secondarily concerned about their submitting questionable data for my household (which seem like a waste of my taxes, no?) More and more people are returning from active combat with brain injuries, and I believe taking advantage of someone with a disability is appalling. I believe these workers get bonuses for the information they are able to glean from us, and the accuracy doesn't matter. Why don't the schedule interviews? Why the surprise factor? Why not conduct the interviews over the phone? Why not use the security gate properly? Why do they lie? Why do they only show up on weekends? Who screens these deadbeats and why are so many of the census computers missing?
I wrote my Senators, Representative, and the White House a few weeks ago about this. So far, my Representative has been the only one to get back to me. His office assured me they were investigating because apparently I wasn't the only one in my community to complain. It's good to know that I'm not alone in being worried about this. Thanks for writing this article and also all the comments as well, it's encouraging.
There are two flaws in the system, ACS data becomes less reliable for small geographic areas.
In a Statement of Linda Jacobsen, vice president, Domestic Programs, Population Reference Bureau, before the Joint Economic Committee, U. S. Congress, July 21, 2009, she explained some differences between the census long form and the ACS. Foremost was the fact that the sample size of the current ACS is much smaller. As a result, ACS data from multiple years must be combined to provide reliable estimates for geographic areas with smaller population sizes. The ACS provides 1-year estimates for areas with populations of at least 65,000, 3-year estimates for areas with populations between 20,000 and 65,000, and 5-year estimates for areas with less than 20,000 people. This last group, the first 5-year estimates for 2005-2009 are schedule for release in 2010. She made it clear that without additional funding the ACS could not provide the detail data desired. More funding will be required to keep up with the changes in population. This is one more project that has a runaway budget.
With more information requested each year, they will not be able to convince the public to provide all the personal information. In Linda Jacobsen’s statement, 15 million addresses were surveyed resulting in only 10.5 million final interviews. Or about 1 in 9 households responded to the survey. If you look over the questions asked you can see why, take question number 2: How is this person related to the owner of the house. If this is an adopted child and they do not want it known, how are they going to answer? How about question number 6: What is this person’s race? The first choice is White, the only White people I have seen are albinos. We have mixed marriages in our family with children, how could they answer this question and what difference would it make anyway? America is a melting pot for the races. What are they looking for with questions like this? Is it anybody business how many vehicles are kept at this house? If they want to know the electric bill, why don’t they talk to the utility company? I believe the people that receive Food Stamps would not be willing to share that information. Do they seriously think that if someone is living in a rental without paying rent they would admit it. Then they want you to do an appraisal of your home! I guess when people fill out all the questions about expenses they may realize that they are in over their heads!
For a family of four, there are 213 very personal questions on the form. And my favorite question is number 47 for each person, What was your income and where did it come from. I bet the IRS would love to get their hands on this one. Make a mistake here and guess who will be knocking at your door next.
I just looked at my second mailing of this form. It is such a tremendous intrusion on our privacy. Like someone said, they are asking for information I would not share with anyone outside of my husband & myself. And to Betty, what does the time you left for work in the morning have to do with community services? If you have a privately owned home, why do they need to know how many rooms in your house and how many of those are bedrooms? Why does the amount of my mortgage payment have any bearing on community services? Not to mention all of the other intrusive, personal questions. And if some say, the government already knows a bunch of this information about us, then why do we have to answer the survey? This is ridiculous.
Glad I found your site! I got one of these things a month ago and I was appalled at the questions they ask. I have no problem filling out the 10 year census, but this ACS is way out of line. I am not filling it out, and if they come to my door, I also, will give them the information that is on the regular census.
Does anyone know if these census workers are allowed to come onto fenced property that is marked "No Trespassing"?
Our government is out of control and if we do not stand up for our rights now, we will not have any left before long. Thanks!
OK, so why am I now even afraid to leave my email address on this "Leave a Comment" section? I'm feeling the hot breath of big brother over my shoulder! Would they really put an 80 year old woman in jail like they say they can for not answering questions like what time do I leave the house every morning and how much money do I have? A lot of those questions are questions somebody would ask if they were casing the house! I'm scared.
Everyone that gets this survey should print out the following document and keep it handy for when they come knocking at your door. You do still have rights and they MUST fill out this form before you are required to answer any of their questions.
@ Patty Booker = Other than it none of their Fin business - this part is the part that I fear "allocation of resources throughout society--by business, non-profits, and religious organizations as well as by the government." Can you say "spread the wealth". They are collecting this data for a very GOOD reason... political voting bases. The say it's to make the voting district more fair, but the last time they did that we wound up getting Gerrymandering. And you think it's gonna be MORE fair? Well, I must agree on one thing... we sure have had a LOT MORE of government since Obama and his cronies took office. So gerrymander away with the 2010 Census and spare us the theatrics of trying to look nonpartisan.
Here, learn about how our elected officials really see us: [link edited for length] Talk about being just a number to them. I don't think we even constitute being a life form.
@ Betty = it has absolutely NOTHING to do with getting services in your community. Do you get more or less based on your sex or color, race or financial income? It's a COMMUNITY. I bet those SEIU/ACORN workers have been brushing up on their thug tactics just for this. And we are this hard because it's PRIVATE INFORMATION! We should not be forced against our will to substantiate our information for trivial bullshit for reporters, living magazines or students. They have been doing JUST FINE making observations based on the populous of a community without most of that information.
You know how they love that saying “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Only in this case they are threatening us with fines, jail basically the "power" they can yield OVER us - *Note: Not protecting us at all.
The constitution say we can COUNT the citizens... since when you do consider all these questions counting? Originally, it said "the actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. -- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States" Enumeration shall be made. That is counting and ONLY counting, and in fact the first 7 U.S. censuses were performed by the Judicial branch. What I do not understand is how they can take the phrase "in such manner as they shall by law direct" and say it has to do with what kind of information they are free to collect. Why can't it be referring to the immediately previous statement of "and within every subsequent Term of ten Years." as they can possibly CHANGE the frequency of it instead. I know that it was interpreted with the Santa Clara decision of 1886 that capitalization in the 14th amendment regarding corporations being deemed "Persons" changed the meaning of everything. Just like those progressive attorney's, hu? So let's do it right back to them with the Census, I say!
After putting down my 14 YR old German Sheppard, I got another pup, who at 6 mo\'s was huge, and after talking to a friend who plays racket ball with a legal minded individual, I replace my \"BEWARE OF DOG\" sign with a “No Trespassing” sign, simply because I was afraid the new dog would over react to strangers. The simple fact is, if all you have is a BEWARE of DOG sign, and shots -all you are telling people is you have a mean dog & you can be sued if you dog bites a stranger, and you will loose. However if you Have a no Trespassing sign, and the individual chooses to come on your property, climbs over a fence - and then the dog Does bite him, you are free and clear, like wise if your property is posted as “NO Trespassing” even the Police are not allowed on it “only at their own Risk” they must have a warrant. And when they do come, they will be yelling “Police- Warrant” because you have the right to protect Life and property with Deadly force, see they all know this, and now the pushing - page 2.
As I have stated: The (1st) Census worker left the simple (fracked up) 10 Question survey at the gate, the Dog enjoyed chewing it up, and then the next day the (ACS)
American Community Survey worker left his paper work also at the gate, the Dog enjoyed his paper work too. But then he jumped in His car and hunted down my wife at her 91 yr old mothers house, just as she was pulling out of her drive way, he fly’s up, blocks her egress from leaving the drive and jumps out Waving papers and starts integrating her then and their, demanding phone numbers 6 times - she told him nothing other then two people live here plus 2 cats and 2 dogs, the man Left demanding I speak to him with in the week, and it all be on the phone. When I find this out – Yap I was pissed.
After speaking to the man, Giving him a Big piece of my mind, I gathered up the un-chewed portions of the (1st) simple survey, placing them in a larger envelope along with a cover letter to the local data collection center, and the home office for ACS in Denver and both House and senate rep\'s - Let’s pass out your personal information like Halloween candy --
To whom it may concern
There are (2) TWO – People who live at this address.
Pursuant to Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution that is the only information you are empowered to request.
My “name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure” have absolutely nothing to with apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. Therefore, neither Congress nor the Census Bureau has the constitutional authority to make that information request a component of the enumeration outlined in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. In addition, I cannot be subject to a fine for basing my conduct on the Constitution because that document trumps laws passed by Congress.
The Coup de Gras to your Unconstitutional Information Requests
“Neither branch of the legislative department [House of Representatives or Senate], still less any merely administrative body [Census Bureau], established by congress, possesses, or can be invested with, a general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190. We said in Boyd v. U.S., 116 U. S. 616, 630, 6 Sup. Ct. 524, ―and it cannot be too often repeated ― that the principles that embody the essence of constitutional liberty and security forbid all invasions on the part of government and its employees of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of his life. As said by Mr. Justice Field in Re Pacific Ry. Commission, 32 Fed. 241, 250, ‘of all the rights of the citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security, and that involves, not merely protection of his person from assault, but exemption of his private affairs, books, and papers from inspection and scrutiny of others. Without the enjoyment of this right, all others would lose half their value.’”
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 479 (May 26, 1894)
Note: This United States Supreme Court case has never been overturned.
If the federal government had been granted the general power to make inquires into the private affairs of the American people through the Census or a congressional mandated survey, then the Supreme Court could not have made this statement. Period end of story.
However – Beware. // Oh Brack-o in 1939, Construction law was suppressed -
Threw the Secret judicial system and replaced with the UCC codes because
The Dollar failed the Gold standard, and the Bankers now make the rules.
Beware the Bankerstars. They want and will take your property if they can (or)
See their way clear to convincing the American people the Construction is dead.
Bottom Line - IF the information is so Straw Man important – then Get a Warrant.
I received the American Community Survey, and was shocked at most of the questions they asked. I tore it up, threw it in the trash. A month later I received another American Community Survey, I again threw it in the trash. I then received the Census form. I answered that 2 ppl live here, are AMERICANS, and that was it. I mailed it back to them. For the second week in a row, I'm getting calls from the Census. I have had up to 3 a day. I have not answered any of the calls until today. The man informed me he was an agent of the Census, asked that I was head of the house, which I relied "Yes", asked if our address was correct, which I replied "Yes". He then asked if I had recieved my American Community Survey? I told him I had, and that I found it extremely personal, and that I would not be filling it out. He told me that it is the law, and that I must, and asked me if I would like to take the survey over the phonew, which I relied "No" I am not going to take the survey because it is NO ONES business what time I leave for work everyday. He replied, that the questions are simply to find out things our community may need. I told him I would not be taking the survey. Which he relied, that it is the law and refusal to do so could end in a $5,000 fine or imprisonment, and asked if I understood that. I told him yes I did, and I refuse to take the survey. He told me that they will be sending a rep. to my home. I told him you cant MAKE ME take the survey. He replied that it is the law, passed by Congress. I told him I answered the Census, and mailed it, which is required as per the Constitution, but last I looked the Constitution said nothing about the American Community survey. He then asked me again.."So, you are refusing to comply?" I said "Yes I am" ..Who the hell do these ppl think they are?? Are they going to hold a gun to my head, strap a pen to my hand, and make me take the survey??? They can try all they want..I know my rights..
As a researcher, it's amazing what these ACS data can do to assist in community outreach (whether it be community health, education, etc). So much changes in 10-years, and these annual surveys give us and particularly policy makers a better idea of population changes, transportation trends, etc that make for more-informed decisions.
As a researcher I look forward exploring ACS data every year.
It's not a question of what the data can provide. It's a question of whether or not that is the role of government.
Local officials have access to all they need to make decisions. If they are waiting on the Federal Government to tell them what is happening already, chances are great that it's a lousy local government.
I complied with the 2010 Census. Sent in my form. And yesterday someone came to my home while I was out and attempted to interview a houseguest. He wouldn't comply and the census worker walked across the street and began interviewing the HOA president (about me...I called him.) I do not understand why these people if they have additional questions, show up unannounced? I don't understand why they violate the security gate in my community? What is it about the ambush factor? I would be much more likely to comply if the way the census attempted to conduct their business was more transparent, civilized and respectful. As a point of fact, the HOA president, when I questioned him, doesn't even know the name (or legitimacy) of the person he spoke to. My privacy has been royally violated by the census and my neighbor...and I am royally pissed off. I suspect that some of my family members, who are here regularly, have now been counted more than once. And that's another issue... that the census people don't seem to care if the information they collect is correct or not. Attempts on my part to follow up on this have been met by apathy. This is wrong on so many levels.
I just got home from work and found a fax on my machine. It was a letter from the ACS. My fax number is not published, so they must have gone through the phone company and matched addresses. I called the number, not knowing what the ACS is. I thought it was the census. First I asked them if they were telemarketers, posing as the Census Bureau. They said they were actually the bureau, and said I could fill out the census or do it over the phone, which was easier. Red flag number one. She verified name and address and I stopped her. I asked her if all I had to give her was the number of people in the house and she said no. Then went in to all the uses for the survey. The next thing I told her was four. Thats it. She said she would code me as refused to comply. I told her I did not refuse to comply. And again I told her that I would gladly give her the number of people in the house. Then, with a rather snitty attitude, she asked ok how many people currently live in the house. Four, I said. That was it. She hung up. We will wait and see what happens next. There ought to be a fund set up to help people with there fines. I will chip in.
I'm one of thousands of city planners and researchers who rely on the anonymous compilations of data produced by the American Community Survey. The ACS provides the detailed information we need to understand housing needs, levels of racial segregation or integration in housing, transportation needs, and dozens of other factors that all levels of government must have to identify where action is required to meet the needs of the public.
The questions asked are similar to those we must ask when we conduct random sample surveys as part of housing needs studies for individual cities. This is essential information governments need to function and serve the public.
Like the decennial census, all ACS data is compiled. Data are never released for any individual respondent; in fact it would be illegal to do so. Never in the history of the census has individual data been released to anybody or any government agency.
It's sad that E.J. Moosa -- and many of the writer here -- are so ignorant about the information all levels of government need in order to function and meet essential needs of the public. Then again, why should I be surprised. E.J. identifies herself as a "libertarian," perhaps the most ignorant and arrogant political thought group around.
Libertarians are just like the Communists, they think the world must function according to their theoretical rules which have no basis in fact and which the world has never followed. They both live in a fantasy world with no understanding of the law -- and neither lets the facts get in the way of their rigid, unsupportable extremist views.
You seriously want to make the case that you need to know my race, what my expenses are , and other information to function as a city planner?
First, the nation has plenty of failures of city planners every where you look. Yet you claim to have had this information at your use, and now you need more. Cities are going bankrupt. Who has been planning successfully.
Government needs the information? Government merely creates the need for the information because they do so poorly in their job that a lack of information must be the reason for their failures. We hear this time and again.
City planners could collect information locally WITH citizen participation. That is very different than a Federal Government twice removed from the local environment.
Government needing information to do a role they should not be doing in the first place is no reason to coerce me to provide information I choose not to provide. That would be the communistic behavior you tried to attach to libertarians.
I'm afraid it is not only your ignorance that is showing, but your seriously inflated level of the importance of your profession.
As much as I hate to admit it those of you that think all we have to answer is how many people are our houses are wrong. I suggest that you check out this link: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_cens.html. According to the constitution congress can ask us any questions that the want and much like the Borg "You will comply". Of cource I won't, still TMI.
Well, that makes the sixth trip to my house by the Census Bureau. Apparently, the USP can't guarantee the safe keeping of my original census questionaire. Acknowledging the number of people that live in my house both on the form and to the enumerator still have not made it into the bureau's database. Tonight's visit was from a supervisor asking if I had received the ACS, I said yes, and due to privacy issues, and possible self incrimination that I was exercising my rights under the Fifth amendment. I was then told that if I chose to dispose of the form to shred the cover page containing the bar code. I inquired as to what was in the bar code, her response...personal information. WTF?
Thanks for this article. I got the orginal 10-question form, and the ACS. On the actual Constitutionally mandated form, I gave only the number of people living at our adress, and no more. When we got the ACS, I showed it to my husband, and his eyes popped when he saw what information they wanted. He, like me, questions its relevance. We threw it away, uncompleted. We got another one, and promptly tossed it into the trash.
A census worker did come by twice, and we refused to answer the door. She left her information both times, and both times I threw it in the trash. We also got a call, and my husband told them we would not comply. We haven't heard from them since.
To those who are claiming that we NEED to share our private information for the "community's benefit", I say go screw yourselves. All the government can ask is how many people live here. They have no right or reason to know anything else about us.
Okay so I got the post card stating that I will be getting the census in the mail and please fill it out (waste of taxpayers money) then I got the 2010 census and I filled out question number 1 (which according to the Constitution thats all I am legally bound to fill out) then I put big X's through the rest of the form telling them that according to the United States of America Constitution (cause that is where I live~or so I thought) Article 1 Section 2 that the rest of the intrusive questions are illegal and I refuse to answer. And I mailed it back. Then I get 2 more post cards in the mail stating that the census should have been sent and to not forget to fill it out (again a pure waste of taxpayers money~especially considering how many trillions of dollars this nation is in debt). Then I get 2 seperate census workers that show up on my door step to ask me personal question about the house next door!!!! Are you kidding me? I told them both to go take a flying leap! Now this week I have had a lady from the census show up telling me that I did not complete the form. Which I informed her that I did. I answered all I was legally obligated to answer, then she replied with well it helps with state funds which I told her bullshit that was a federal government lie and I was not going to answer her intrusive question and that she and the federal government needed to go read the constitution. Mind you by the way this lady pulls up in a brand spanking new Mercedies SUV. I thought these jobs were to go to people who needed them?????? Hmmmm. So this morning at 9:00 in the morning (Saturday) this pit bull of a lady is back not to question me , BUT MY NEIGHBORS ABOUT ME!!!!!! Talk about invasion of my civil rights!! I went over to her and scared her off and now I have had to tell my neighbors not to answer her damn questions that its a violation of our privacy! What next??? This is harrassment by anyones standards and I would like to know how they can leagally get away with it? The government and these census workers have crossed the line! My race, how much of the time we reside in our house, my age, and all the other question don't affect state funding in any way shape or form and to try and tell me it does is laughable! How stupid do they think I am? And heres a question for you people who defend this census form: IF WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS LEGAL AND BY THE LAW THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE ALL THE TATICS THAT THEY ARE USING AND ASKING THESE QUESTIONS, THEN IF IT IS SO LEGAL, WHY ARE THEY BEHAVING SO SHADY??? Go by the old rule of thumb: if you have to be sneaky about whatever it is you are doing, then what you are doing is WRONG!!!!! Anyone who says they are within their legal rights needs to look up the law and check into the Constitution, because they are not covered by any law. What they are doing is illegal, and they know it. I am waiting for next Revolutionary War, Americans are fed up!!!
Thanks for running this site. When I received the ACS one week after completing the census form, I could not believe my eyes. As a history buff, these tactics to extract information have occurred several times. And what they did with the information was to seize, imprison and distinguish individuals that met their criteria.
I say to all Americans, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS AS THEY ARE TRYING EVERY DAY IN THE CONGRESS AND SENATE TO REMOVE THEM. THIS IS AMERICA, NOT NAZI GERMANY.
I refused to fill out the ACS. As a result I received 4 calls a day for 60 days. I finally programmed my phone with the various numbers so the calls would get an immediate hang up. No more calls and as of yet, no one at my door or my neighbors asking questions. Everyone I know is informed of this scandal.
One last point. If you decide to throw the ACS in the trash or shred the document, make sure all of the paper goes to the local dump. There is a GPS tracking device imbedded in the document. Make sure it leaves your premises and is buried.
We recieved the 2010 Census which we filled out like good americans. However, then we recieved the American Community Survey. So far we have recieved 3 postcards telling us that we must fill it out by law. Yesterday, we had a message on answering machine from census people. I called back and got a lady who could barely speak english. I hung up. We would rather pay the $100 fine and keep our stats to ourselves.
We received our ACS form today and I am horrified and angered after reading the questions. There is no way they are getting any information from us. They do not have a right to it simply because they say they do. They are messing with the wrong ex-hippie here!
I am VERY glad that I came across this article today. I received the 2011 ACS and declined to answer. I have now had a total of four visits from Census workers, the last one today who was a supervisor. On the first visit, the worker left her business card and a letter advising that the ACS was mandatory and to hold it for her so that she could FedEx it to the regional processing office. The second visit I WAS home (2-9-11), answered the door and advised her that we did not wish to participate and her immediate reply was "It's required by law and you will be fined if you don't answer". I advised her to leave and not return. However, she DID return yesterday, 2-11-11. I again advised her that we would not participate and handed her the following:
I hereby rebut your Title 13, Section 141 presumption of authority for personal information collection for Census 2010 and/or the American Community Survey, due to the following apparent Title 13 violations:
• §301(a), §303 & §307 lack of authorization to collect information;
• §302 lack of authorization for Chapter 5 or Chapter 7 implementing regulations;
• And, your apparent personal violation of Chapter 1, Subchapter II, §23(c) restrictions on presumptions of Chapter 9 authority.
• THEREFORE: I hereby retain of all of my rights and privileges under the 4th and 5th Amendments, and respectfully decline to respond to any questions.
She immediately advised that I was in non-compliance and could be fined up to $5000 and that the matter would be referred to her supervisor.
Today, 2-12-11, a supervisor showed up (male, did not get his name or business card) I again told him we did not wish to participate - his response, and I quote "You know you can be fined $5000!". I reiterated that we did not wish to participate, and his immediate response was "Fine. I'll mark you down as 'non-compliant' and let the Feds handle it.".
I have had enough. Let them send the Justice Dept. after me. Someone has to stand up tho this incessant bullying
Posted By: American Citizen
Date: 2011-02-25 11:40:49
Just ignore them. Got a lot of information off the internet on these people. Apparently the statute they quote to coerce people relates to the ten year census, not this survey. They will not fine you if you do not answer their questions. We got the notice letter, survey, second survey and follow-up letter by early December, 2010. Phone calls started shortly thereafter. They just recycle your name no matter what you tell them & you will get phone calls from different reps every time.
I discovered, fortuitously, a way to put them off with as little irritation as possible during the phone call phase. First time I told them I was on my way out the door for an appointment. Second time, we were just sitting down for dinner - said we can't talk to you now, and so on and so forth. Never actually refused to fill out the survey, just bad timing & hard to say when a good time would be to call.
Saw the rep on our front porch the first time he came. Didn't open the door. We have been letting the answering machine pick up calls since they started coming to our house. Never returned their calls. The rep talked to at least two of our neighbors asking for information about us. This Monday night the rep came up on our deck and banged on our back door, then he banged on the window. Then he called from our deck on his cell phone. His message said he knew we were in the house, that he was legitimate & had identification, blah, blah, blah. He rang our front door bell & finally gave up. On Tuesday morning we put locks on the gates to our back yard so he could not access our deck or peer through the edges of the blinds.
A different rep called three times on Tuesday night and ten times on Wednesday. She said we could skip questions we were uncomfortable answering, and could also answer anonymously if we preferred. We ignored the message. She said it would be "better" to have some answers than to put "no response" on the survey form. Better for them maybe, not better for us. Just two calls yesterday. We expect another big push over the weekend because they can no longer bother us after the end of the month. They get a new printout of people to harass each month. So in a few days it will be OVER!!! Hang in there and don't let them coerce you into this invasion of privacy.
I got a form a few months ago, looked it up on the internet and then actually looked at the form. Tossed it. Got a phone message, then another survey...tossed it without even opening it. The other day they sent a rep to the door, woke me up (I work nights) to tell me I have to fill it out because it's the law. I told her the constitution only requires the ten year census, which I filled out a year ago. next day a FedEx letter apprising me of my legal obligation to fill out the survey. The government spent MY tax money to FedEx a letter to me! I would say I would just pay the fine, but where the hell is the money going?
This is illegal, right? How can they ask such specific questions and NOT think they are infringing on my personal rights!? If anyone has a sure fire way of getting these lunatics to stop harrassing, PLEASE share it!
I received the ACS in July and will never provide such detailed, private information to anyone, much less the government. Received it twiced, then received 4 letter. Since August 2nd, a census worker has tried to contact me 11 times. Four times, they've managed to get into my gated community. One evening I was home and the census worker banged on the door so hard that he rattled the door frame! In between the banging, he rang the doorbell over and over, then he slip his note card through the door frame. Five minutes later, he was banging on the door and ringing the doorbell again. Very creepy, but his scare tacticts won't work on me. Yesterday, I too received my FedEx packet with a different brochure trying to sell me on the idea that I am required to answer. I'm sending them a letter today and sign it "Current Resident" with my address as they address the letters to me. They can put me in jail or fine me, I really don't mind as I will never not stand up for my rights, even though as an American citizen, I shouldn't have to.
Like you, I sent in only the head count for my address. I refused, and continue to refuse to provide information that, like you, I would not share with 99.9% of the population. I found it very effective to have a voice recorder ready to record phone calls (I tell them they are being recorded, I ask them to identify themselves, complete with employee number, as they are required to do, and had one worker demand I turn it off, which I refused to do). I have the video recorder ready for the expected house visit. It's amazing just how much more cordial they are when they know they're being recorded.
I don't believe the randomness of this survey. We filled out the census. However, we don't fit in the race categories and put American under other. Promptly we get the ACS. Mailed it back with a non of your business letter. They started calling trying to lecture me about the difference between census and ACS. Then the visit came at a time where I normally don't even open the door anymore. But she kept ringing the bell and knocking on the door, even after I informed her that she is not allowed to come that late. In fact she lied and claimed it's earlier and that I have to let her in. She even tried to open the door by wiggling the doorknob. Scared my kid doing all that. Then she wedged a letter through the side of the door. It isn't easy and she managed to damage the lining. She left her name and number. Pretty stupid because now I know where she lives. I asked in forums about her. Amazing how quickly all the posts disappeared.
They get to harrass us and scare little kids. Is there no recourse? They gave people the power to legally harrass us. Wow! Then they want to cry foul when people strike back.
How could I trust a person like that with my information. In fact, she is representing the census bureau. If she presents me with a lie about having to let her in and claiming it's earlier than it really is, then I have to fully assume the census bureau cannot be trusted. My information, especially such intimate details, will not be safe.
I opened the ACS and was shocked to see what kind of questions were being asked. I too feel that this has no bearing on Community service. To tell you the truth I googled it because I thought it was a scam. What time do you leave for work? Really?? You can't trust anyone these days. Is a moving truck going to pull up and empty your household belongings if the number of rooms listed and your salary looks inviting? I don't need the ACS to help me make an informed decision!
In 2010 I answered the census but now in 2011 they want me to answer another one in much more details. Here is the thing I'm a permanant resident I'm not even a voting person in this country. The information they want I wouldn't share. I come from canada information like your SS number we don't share with anyone actually people are not even allowed to ask you for the number not even the cops. The only time such information is given is when you are hired not on an application or when you are doing your taxes.
My thing is that the information they want in my opion isn't any of their business and I'm not going to answer them. I'll tell them how many people are in my home yes and I'll gladly give them my phone number because it's in the phone book anyways. But I'm not about to give them my SS # how much I make a year even though the IRS has the information. But as to if I have a flat screen tv or running water in my home and how much i pay on my mortgage that ain't but my business and the bank. Everyone else can keep thier nose out of it.
I just sent the third person packing from my door step in a week. This time a supervisor, who stated "you know you can be fined for not answering the questions?" My reply- "You do that." After serving 23 years in the army my government threatens harm to my family (yes 100 dollars is harmful) because I intend to protect my wife and children in my home. Well 100 dollars will hurt and it will continue to be fought. I swore an oath to defend the constituion. Everything neeeded for city planning or any other bogus application can be obtained online from my published phone number, my tax records and the appraisal district property information. Whose rights have you protected Dan the Man and at what cost?
FYI: the ACS survey DOES NOT ASK for your SS# .....also FYI if you're very concerned about privacy, give JOHN DOE/JANE DOE names, it's the statistical information that represents the makeup of the community that they need.
Dear Uncle Sam (Big Brother): Please use the money you will save by NOT paying for the income of Census employees, their transportation, their overtime, supplies, and expenses, developing the ACS, printing the ACS, enforcing it, and compiling it...Use it to fix our schools, repair our roads, give the elderly and the disabled a COLA (cost of living increase) something they have not received in nearly 4 years...help home owners and renters with house payments and the rising cost of food and the rising cost of utility bills instead of bailing out vapid banks and fraudulent corporations.
You don't need to violate our privacy and the US Constitution or the Bill Of Rights to inumerate Congress or to know where the money is needed...it is written on the Wall (of the Jefferson Memorial).
Because you see, my name, nor my age, nor my sex, nor my nationality, nor my religion, nor my profession, nor my income are relevant because the only fact and the only thing you need know is I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN....my enumeration is a #1 among MANY UNITED and STRONG.
Posted By: A Sovereign Individual!
Date: 2011-11-21 14:52:23
The Faciast idiots are probably going door to door and finding us "non-compliants" so they can be marked for the New World Order/ Illuminati hit squads! Asking at what time do you leave your house sounds like they are wanting to know when your not there to go in and set up surveylence equipment and bug your house to see if you are a "domestic terrorist". Why do they need to know how I heat my home, so they can flick the switch and shut me off so my family freezes to death- good population control strategy! Why the need to know how much my personal property and land would sell for,?- To take us away to the internment camps and sell of our home to some foriegners or illegal aliens! I'm just surprised the don't have the balls to ask how many firearms are in the dwelling!! This is communism on the fast train and I a'm so angry!! The Fourth Reich is coming and I'll be standing with my fingers snugly wrapped around my defence!
A family member of mine received one of these ACS's today - he was telling me about it, and as he was, I googled it, thinking it HAD to be a marketing scam - MY government would NEVER ask questions that personal - I mean, come one, "what time do you leave for work?" to me says, "what time can I rob your home"? Needless to say, he is NOT answering the survey - and we are doing all wel can to advocate getting this invasion of privacy permanantly ended. Like we both said, and like was posted previously here - this is the kind of information Hitler gathered to decide what groups of people fit the Arian "mold", and which were costly and should be eliminated. Should we voluntarily supply this information to ANYONE??
I got mine a few weeks ago. Also got a couple of threats in the mail about how I am compeled to comply. I called and was told no jail time just a fine between $100 to $6000. I told her I was unemployed and no money. She said in all the years only 3 people have been fined. I asked about privacy. I gave her the CSA # and she told me my address, along with my name and SSN#. As a Vet. I remember the VA "lost" every Vets ID info. years ago. I got a letter telling me to watch out for ID Theft. OK. So, I thought what ever, let's just fill it out. This thing is bad news. How much I make, How I made it, Who I was working for. Income from other sources. No way. My name. My SSN#. How many cars I own. How many miles to work. There's no good reason to know these things about everyone. They have a problem, this has never been challeged in court. They quote Title Code etc., well Congress can pass any law they want. Doesn't make it good. Also I read, If I provide false info my fine will be greater, maybe $500. In lawyer talk, there is no way to fill it out correctly. Do you know what your Water/Wastewater bill was for the last 12 months? If you do, I say, GET A LIFE. So, I won't be sending this thing in. I don't know what will happen. And no, I don't plan on a firefight in the front yard. I am not scared nor am I hiding out. I am tire of my government not following the Constitution. It's simple, read it. If asked I will say that the Census was last year. But, I'm a nice guy and I will tell you THIS IS ME. ONE.
I have always been leery of posting a comment on any site, and never have — that is until today.
I, too, have received two copies of the ACS in the mail in recent months addressed to “Resident”. I ignored both of them, despite the ominous warning “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW”. I have since had four visits from an agent. The latest being this morning at 10 a.m. (We had just spent an exhausting night Christmas eve wrapping the final presents, and Christmas day with family. We wanted to sleep in this morning, only to be woken by the intrusive and persistent ringing of our door bell different three times — Talk about being invasive!! I looked out our bedroom window, and recognizing the car in the driveway, I did not answer the door.)
After the first visit, I read the questions on the survey. At the second visit, I politely told the agent that I found the questions to be intrusive and that I was not going to answer them. The third visit I ignored. This fourth visit was most unnerving. The note left on my door reads as follows:
“Mr. **********: Your case will be returned to H.Q. for further action on 12/28/11. Fines for deliberate non-compliance can be severe. Please call me to avoid this result. Thanks!”
I am so outraged by all this, that I have been moved to respond and to take action (as evidenced by this my first post ever -- now my second to this site).
I have just spent the past ten hours on the internet researching this matter and found quite a bit of interesting material (including this site).
HISTORY LESSON (To Erik who posted on 12-01-2011):
1. “Despite decades of denials, government records confirm that the U.S. Census Bureau provided the U.S. Secret Service with names and addresses of Japanese-Americans during World War II.” Source: Scientific American by JR Minkel March 30, 2007
2. “Washington DC, Jul. 30 (UPI) — The U.S. Census Bureau has given the Department of Homeland Security detailed demographic data on Arab-Americans, the New York Times said Friday.” Source: Washingtontimes.com July 30, 2004
Despite these two cited history lessons, the U.S. Census Bureau continues to use lying as a means to extract information from American citizens (as well as using harassment, intimidation and threats of fines). The following is taken directly from the “Handbook For Local Officials” from the U.S. Census Bureau issued December, 2004 (page 6):
“What if I am asked about the American Community Survey?
Here are some of the questions you may be asked by someone who has received an American Community Survey questionaire in the mail. The following are suggested responses.
2. Do I have to answer all of these questions? Yes. You should answer all of the questions. The survey is part of the census, and answering it is required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code). Give your best estimate for items that ask for detailed amounts. Your answers are anonymous.”
Given that the first question asked on the survey for each person is their name, how can the U.S. Census Bureau claim that my answers are anonymous.
With regard to those of us who claim Constitutional rights under either the Fourth, Fifth or Ninth Amendment, the opinion of the U.S.GAO dated April 4, 2002 (citing court decisions in Morales v. Evans) might be astonished at the opinion and decisions rendered. [The full text may be found at www.gao.gov/decisions/other/289852.htm]. To paraphrase this "Nixonian" type of logic "If the government does it, then its not illegal." Such absurdity. David Frost where are you?
HEALTH INSURANCE QUESTIONS
Health insurance questions were first added with the 2008 version of the ACS. The entire ACS has now been politicized and transformed into a coercive government instrument to further the agenda of the government, regardless which party is in power. The ACS, along with other legislation that has been passed over the years, not only erodes our rights, but criminalizes simply being a legal American citizen.
I found the following which may be of some help:
On March 3, 2011, Congressman Ted Poe (TX) introduced H.R. 931 to the House of Representatives. H.R. 931 would allow most of the questions on the American Community Survey to be optional. If H.R. 931 became law, the only questions that would be mandatory would be questions on your name, date of response, contact information, and number of people living at the same address (similar to the information asked on the original census in 1790).
I will be contacting my U.S. representative in congress and ask him/her to support Rep. Poe’s proposal. I would ask all readers to do the same. You may reach your U.S. representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 866-220-0044.
My apologies to all for the length of this post. I strongly feel that this matter is too imporatant to ignore.
Posted By: JILLIAN JOHNSON
Date: 2011-12-28 08:25:24
I threw away the first form like many others anticipating a scam. 3 weeks later I received the second. The phone calls have begun. So they want to know the last time I married. Why ..to build Little wedding chapels in my area?Living alone I will not put myself in a dangerous position by supplying answers to so many intrusive questions.
It is time for all citizens to revolt against such intimidation. I have read of Germany's early " COMMUNITY " census as well. It worked magnificently for the NAZI party.An efficient questionnaire that guaranteed that I am family less in the USA.So the pendulum swings back, same old " ETHNICITY QUESTION...PURPOSE again unspecified.
If it walks like a duck,,,quacks like a duck ..its a duck. This questioning has a nefarious purpose be assured. Time to stand and fight before it is 1940 all over again
Wow y'all - I just happily filled mine out and decided to look it up and see what complaints were about it.... Thanks for living up to my expectations. It just seems to me that you've got to have a pretty serious ego to think they're collecting this info so they can target you, specifically. @Betty and @Patty are spot on - private companies and public agencies alike use this aggregated data to match resources with needs. Academics use it to understand population trends. Politicians use it to calculate whether or not to run for office, and to learn how to represent their communities (with varying degrees of success). Now, if you want to not be counted in surveys like this and simultaneously complain about a government that doesn't respond to your community's needs... well, I am truly impressed with your ego's capacity for dissonance.
Mostly GOOD advice here... but I have GOOD NEWS -- January 5, 2012:
according to http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h931/blogs, Ted Poe, R Texas introduced the bill... Now Pending HR 931
His office says that it is near consideration. Office personnel repeated at least twice, that they have receive NUMEROUS calls from all over the country, telling how invasive this ACS is... and how outraged we are!!!
Call your congressmen and all representatives, and ask them to support this bill... Nice secretary said be sure to SAY you want him/her to support this bill. Recommended calling the DC office, so it will be certain and get to Washington!
Those offices cannot tell us whether we should "comply" or not...
but... I say Let us STAND TOGETHER! Under the Shadow of the Father's Wings!
Read just about every message on this blog... NEVER get on Blogs, I am so private... but wanted to share this with you good folks!
The Commerce dept / Census Bureau cannot fine anyone - they have to get Justice to do so. When the Census Bureau threatens fines for non-compliance of the American Community Survey, are they not committing mail fraud.....a federal offense? Any lawyers out there know of this?
As an aside - the ACS questions go against the DOJ's own guidelines for preventing identity theft.
Posted By: F the American communist survey
Date: 2012-01-15 07:23:15
Got the first one on Dec. 1st. I thought it was some kind of a joke. I wouldn’t even give my priest all that info they want. Pitched it in the garbage. Got the 2nd one a week ago, again pitched it. Now, the nasty phone calls are starting. This is a f@*king JOKE! I already filled out the census for 2010 that’s all they get from me. They are violating SO many rights to privacy laws! I WILL NOT fill this thing out!
Also, to all you f@#king sheep that say “just fill it out”, we get goodies from the gubmint! Here’s a great big FU! to YOU! I suggest you read 1984 and objectively ask yourself how much of that book is real now? I also found out most of the OBAMA CRAZIES are behind this shit! ACORN and SEIU to name two.
I’m not going to have some PUNK fresh out of some shithole college telling me I have to tell them how much I make or what source of income I have! F@#king REGODAMNdiculous! Throw it in the garbage and resist this BS!
Posted By: No Name Supplied
Date: 2012-01-27 01:20:08
Just want to say thank you for this article and all of the comments. We have received this survey recently as well. Things are beginning to escalate. Within the past week or so, we received the second form to fill out as well as a letter and a post card. I am absolutely disgusted by how pushy they are when trying to get people to fill out the stupid survey. Lying about fines, knocking your windows, walking around to your back door, questioning neighbors, getting gated community passwords, etc. It's harassment, it's fraud, and it's all illegal, and yet they get away with this every year? Disgusting. If I don't want to answer the freakin' questions, then so what? Find someone who will, since they seem to think it's such a simple little thing to do, no big deal, right? No big deal - then stop bothering me so much.
Well, they haven't bothered us yet, but that's what I'm preparing for. I'm thinking about those no tresspassing signs. Calls will not be answered. Nothing will be sent to them. The door will not be answered and if they start to creep around the property, I will come outside and tell them the police are on their way. Video recording is a good idea as well. These people need to get in trouble for violating our rights - the harassment especially. Just disgusting.