Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Senate Housing Bailout Further Erodes Privacy Rights

Senator Dodd's FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008 is going to the Senate floor for a vote today. The purpose of the bill is to provide a bailout for those facing home foreclosure and the banks that made the deceptive loans. We've already discussed Dodd's impropriety when it comes to his position on the Banking Committee in regards to this issue and this bill, which just so happens to have been written by Bank of America, the company that is buying Countrywide, just accentuates our concerns.

While providing bailouts for the banks that created and made these high risk deceptive loans to people with no credit and no assets is bad enough, hidden in the bill are previsions that further erode the privacy of all Americans.

Senator Dodd has been on the forefront of championing privacy rights when it comes to to the FISA act that authorized warantless wiretaps and will provide telecom companies complicit in the crimes with immunity.

The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless wiretapping. Shredding of Habeas Corpus. Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons.

No more.

I have decided to place a "hold" on the latest FISA bill that would have included amnesty for telecommunications companies that enabled the President's assault on the Constitution by illegally providing personal information on their customers without judicial authorization.

Dodd's leadership didn't stop the House from passing the FISA bill and likely will have no effect when the Senate considers it this time around. Why? Because Sen. Dodd simply does not have a leg to stand on when it comes to privacy.

Buried in his housing bailout bill are provisions that will require online payment services like Google Checkout, Paypal, ebay, and Amazon, including all major credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express to "to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government."

So unless you enjoy having the IRS know everything you purchase, you need to pick up the phone and call 1-866-928-3035 and let your Senators know they need to vote NO on the FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008.
UPDATE 2:59 CST: Housing Bill passes cloture in the Senate 83-9, clearing the way for a vote later today.


Anonymous said...

People often wonder whether a call will help. The facts are that senate offices have to listen and record the opinions of their constituents. Call today. Get your friends to call. If they don't know about it, educate them. This country was not made great by people allowing men like Dodd to cut deals with business and then propose legislation that benefits them. It was built strong and hardy by individual concerned citizens who cared for each other and their rights and watched out for one another. Don't let the greatness of America fall to the wayside of history.

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