The National Security Agency’s (NSA) invasion of privacy is being committed in the name of national security, but there are others being committed under the guise of consumer protection, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
“I do not believe the government should be able to capture and store your phone and Internet records without a legitimate warrant, and for whatever use the federal government wants,” Enzi said. “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Patriot Acts were designed to authorize specific information on suspected terrorists and not to cast a wide net on American citizens. There is another story that is being missed, however. There is another agency unreasonably searching your records and invading your privacy.”
Enzi said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is collecting data on as many as 10 million Americans from banking to mortgage loan information. Banks are being ordered to provide records on credit card add-on products including credit monitoring and debt cancellation, in addition to data on checking-account overdrafts.
“Congress has less control over this agency than the National Security Agency because authors of the bill that created the consumer bureau gave it funding not through Congress, but through the Federal Reserve,” Enzi said. “The NSA claims it is protecting you from terrorists. The consumer protection bureau claims it’s protecting you from banks. At what point does 'protection' become power or control?”
Enzi believes congressional committees in the Senate and the House and members from both parties should be asking tough questions about federal agencies’ sweeping seizures of Americans’ personal information.
“Knowledge is power. How much power do you want the federal government to have over you?,” Enzi asked. “Our founders were clearly concerned about this question and I think we should be too.”