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Introducing the government’s newest unpaid spy: YOU

February 8, 2012
Santiago, Chile

One of the most terrifying aspects of George Orwell’s seminal work 1984 was his description of how society had turned into one giant police agency. People were encouraged to rat each other out, groomed since childhood to be unpaid government spies:

“[Children] adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something…” is not too far off from this paradigm– encouraging citizens to rat each other out to the police for the mere suspicion of potential wrong-doing.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano even made a special appearance at last Sunday’s Super Bowl to get the message out about ‘public vigilance,’ and ensure that the entire city of Indianapolis was blanketed with advertisements from her Big Brother campaign.

The IRS has been encouraging this type of behavior for years, rewarding citizens with a share of collections for anyone who snitches on potential tax cheats. Last year the agency upped its reward payout for tax informants, topping out at a full 30%.

A few months ago, the Mayor of Newark, NJ announced a similar program designed to reward citizens for snitching on gun owners. According to the mayor, “We don’t even have to have a conviction,” for an informant to get paid a cool $1,000 cash. Rat out your neighbor, get paid. Simple.

(As an aside, police in neighboring East Orange, NJ have rolled out a new pre-crime surveillance system. In the words of Police Chief William Robinson, “The police are observing you. The police are recording you. And the police are responding.” Big Brother is clearly watching.)

In the financial system, there are droves of civilian agencies that have been coerced into becoming government spies. As we discussed a few weeks ago, everyone from bankers to brokers to gold dealers are obliged to submit ‘suspicious activity reports’ to the federal government. They even have minimum quotas.

What’s more, these so-called “SARs” must remain top-secret. It’s a crime for your banker to inform you that you were the subject of a suspicious activity report.

Yesterday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency which oversees the legions of unpaid government spies, added a few more businesses to the list. Now non-bank mortgage lenders and originators must ‘assist law enforcement’ by submitting suspicious activity reports.

The rule will take effect in the spring. What’s ambiguous is whether or not it will apply to -individuals- who hold and issue private mortgages.

Despite 50 pages of new regulations, the definition of ‘residential mortgage lender’ remains unclear. This is common with laws and regulations… they take up a lot of space, but they’re incredibly vague. Based on the published text:

  • Individuals who finance the sale of their residence are exempt.
  • Individuals who finance an investment property/properties that they own may be subject to the rule.
  • Businesses who own and finance investment properties are more than likely subject to the rule.
  • Individuals and businesses who finance properties that they do not own are subject to the rule.
  • Individuals and businesses who accept a residential mortgage application are subject to the rule.

In other words, if you loan money to someone to buy a house, you might just become the next unpaid government spy. Congratulations.

What’s incredible is that FinCEN came up with this rule all on its own. There was no Constitutional legislative progress. Nothing was submitted for debate on the House floor, or for the President’s signature.

This is not a law. It’s simply a new policy that a federal agency decided to impose, in its sole discretion. And it happens every single day across the hundreds of federal agencies in Washington– a sort of ‘self-legislation’ which creates thousands of pages of new regulations that each and every American is obliged to obey.

Not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind…

In the case of FinCEN, the agency has conjured a rule creating (by their estimate) 31,000 new unpaid government spies. You might be one of them. And in the coming months, you can expect more rulings that will apply to other professions– real estate agents, pawn brokers, and just about anyone who deals in cash.

Have you reached your breaking point yet?

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nsp

    why, why are you ‘obliged to obey’ ?   there can be no obligation to injustice. Were American’s obligated to obey so called ‘laws’ pertaining to slavery in the antebellum south?  don’t be absurd, Simon.  These so called obligations are issued through coercion and threat of force.  naturally such ‘laws’ and/or policies have no inherent validity, just as any testimony given under duress (coercion or threat of force) is inadmissable and binding on NO ONE.  people need to wake up and realize that you don’t have to comply.

  • aktien

    The answer is self-preservation in the face of brute force. Your arguments sound good until the Feds come after you, seize your assets, force you into bankruptcy or prison as you struggle to defend yourself while teaching them about laws they already disrespect before judges who abandoned justice-oriented common law long ago.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3YPO2B734EN2WTK5VX4YUZ2FFQ Sarah

    I’m sorry, but I’ve lived in Newark, and Cory Booker has been a fantastic mayor. This is not rural Wyoming — the guns he’s talking about are illegal weapons used by gangs in drive-by shootings and other crimes that lead to Newark having one of the highest murder rates in the country. Anything the city can do to get those guns off the street is good for the people of Newark.

    • David

      Does the campaign specifically state that his only applies to “illegal” weapons owned by gangs for drive by shootings? If not, you can be sure that at some point, this will be abused. A bad idea. Why don’t you read up on Hitler’s Youth Movement during his reign of tyranny? Just saying…

    • Nyob

      No. The answer is to have all the law-abiding citizens have guns.  Then the studio gangsters won’t do a damn thing if they know regular folks are strappped or carrying 9s.

  • flareback

    Nsp, doesn’t matter if they are laws, they are telling people to do it and most people will. Either because they are scared of getting arrested or losing their license to do whatever they do or because they feel it’s the right thing. No gov’t agency should be telling citizens they have to spy on people.

  • Heinrich H.

    Dial 1-800-RAT-FINK to fulfill your quota.

    The Fatherland thanks you!
    Sieg Heil! 

  • Retired Chief

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

    To create villians out of people who may lawfully own firearms is wrong, period.  As a retired law enforcement officer, I can tell you that programs like that do nothing more than waste valueable resources in the pursuit of baseless information rather than actual investigations into crimes themselves.  There are other studies out there that substantiate the lawful ownership of firearms reduces crime.  Dr. John Lott wrote a book called ‘More Guns, Less Crime’.  He uses statistics that are unbiased to show that lawful firearms ownership and possession does reduce crime.New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts have all enacted stringent laws under the guise of “reducing crime”.  Sadly, they fail to realize that criminals don’t observe laws, and they are unfazed by them.  Law abiding people are impacted by the over regulation, but the criminal who is willing to murder someone without remorse will certainly have no concern about a trivial firearm possession felony.As for the purported “terrorism” that the creators of the FinCEN are supposed to detect…. Hogwash.  The only thing it allows these “Transfer of Wealth” minions hope to do is continue to meddle in the private financial affairs of people who like to deal in cash.  I am one of them.  I don’t like the intrusion of government in my personal affairs, including my aquisition of anything legal to own, using cash legally earned and possessed.  They want their undeserved slice of my pie and to meddle in my affairs.  Maybe I want to purchase a piece of real estate for cash I have worked my whole life and saved.  Does that make me a terrorist?  Because I write comments that differ from the opinions of the government control freaks, I have surely painted myself a target of “suspicion” on my back.  I am no threat to anyone, but my opinion may very well be.Sarah, you are well intentioned and you want to see the safety of your community returned to its citizens.  I want to see it for our whole country. I refuse to live in fear and I refuse to be a victim.  “I would rather have dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”Thomas Jefferson

  • http://twitter.com/Cowchin Michael Hunt

    Sarah, I am not trying to pick on you, just give you something to think about……

    How exactly do you intend to go about distinguishing an “illegal” gun from a “legal” one?

  • Krush

    And so the tyranny of what used to the U.S. government continues…

  • Ganymede50

    “…thousands of pages of new regulations that each and every American is obliged to obey.”

    Only those regulations which are substantive (see Chrysler
    v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281 (1979)) have the force and effect of law. For a regulation to be substantive, it must comply with requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (codified at Title 5 USC) and publishing requirements of the Federal Register Act. Very few, if any, regulations are substantive.

    • Guest

      That’s very informative. I just wonder if my attorney will actually be able to use it in court if I decide to “violate” some of this crap.

    • Aktien

      And yet they continue to plague us all in substantive ways.

    • aktien

      That’s right… and yet, these regulations, without the force and effect of law, plague virtually all of us in substantive ways every day. But even if the ignorant wake up, few will find this a profitable hill to die on given the increasing costs and risks of challenging the regulators.

      • Gene

         Best just to take your business elsewhere…hence this website:-) No reason to stick around the US. Too many christian fanatics; too many people who don’t want to be free anymore. Not much upside to staying.

      • http://www.couches.info/ Nsp

        “But even if the ignorant wake up, few will find this a profitable hill to die on given the increasing costs and risks …”

        then they are still ignorant. those who are not, see and understand that to continue to ‘go along’ in the interest of self-preservation means that we are only heading further down a very dark road.  Remember the words of Orwell, and remember them well …

        “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face — forever.”yes, there are costs and risks. but if we continue to comply we do so at our own peril.  truth or consequences.  we are in this position today ONLY because we (each one of us) did not stand up yesterday and say, “today i am going to stand up for what is right”, regardless of the consequences

  • Hiday_happy

    you know my friends said nobody watch me..very pity

  • kiss off

    STAND UP and just say NO WAY. DON’T comply.

  • kiss off

    why post a response if they are pre screened.

  • Freedomlover1776

    Does anybody else out there recall that tense and tragic scene from the movie “The Sound of Music”  where the oldest daughter’s boyfriend, who had joined Hitler’s Youth, made the decision to blow his whistle on the Von Trapp family as they were trying to escape? In that decision moment he turned out to be a scumbag. How many of our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, etc. will similarly become such?  Educate and
    pursuade folks to rise above this now, before it’s entirely too late!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KFCRJRATVOIRSINNNOSHMDHA7U Tim

    A quota would encourage people to break the ninth commandment. If one must turn in five people a month and not one of them deserves it, you must bear false witness to fulfill the quota.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcusCMarcellus?feature=mhee She Was Kinda Hot

    I would feel sorry for people who believe in “American exceptionalism” if they weren’t so obnoxious and stupid. Anyone who cannot see where this country is headed deserves to live in it.

  • Wanderer

    Not sure this is the place for this but I have reached my limit with the NDAA.  Going to Paraguay (see Feb ’11 SM) to start citizenship process in about 5 months.  Anyone have similar plans?  Let me know.

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