Deprivatizing Social Security

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If you're a terror suspect, you'd better have paid your taxes. The Social Security Administration and the IRS released private information--ranging from SSNs to occupations--on an ad hoc basis to the FBI for 9/11 investigations.

The Open Government Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained internal memorandums and records from the agencies through a Freedom of Information Act request. The SSA and IRS insist that there were no abuses of information.

Writing about "Real I.D." in January, Brian Doherty wore shades and a scarf to cover his bruises and lamented, "how little our 'partners' in D.C.--supposedly our agents, in fact, representing our own interests and using only powers we've ceded them--really respect us." Just imagine what the FBI would do with national ID cards, on an ad hoc basis only, of course.