Census Bureau Harassment Includes Gestapo Tactics – You WILL Comply with our “American Community Survey” – or else!
2022 Update. I received a call in January from a woman who lives in California. Here’s what she said. “I’m a resident of California. I filled the American Community Survey out in 2013. They hit me up for another one in 2021. They’ve been threatening me with letters and postcards. Census workers beat on my door, looked in my windows and took down the license plate to my car. My question: What happened to Ted Poe’s legislation in stopping this bullying? (See below).
Short answer: Congressman Ted Poe’s proposed legislation did not pass the House or Senate and has not since been revived. The Census Bureau claims that it has the right to impose a $5,000 fine for failure to fill out the American Community Survey, but online sources suggest that they have never actually ever used this “power” – possibly due to the lawsuit that might result.
“I want to personally thank you for this article. The harassment is ridiculous. I’m sick of it, and I know if I get harassed much more, I’m going to the authorities for being stalked. Thank you very much.” – C.W.
What does the American Community Survey comprise? Forty-eight invasive questions that could make your grandmother cringe or even cry. Over four million U.S. citizens are targeted annually.
Who conducts the Survey? The Department of Commerce Census Bureau – note the word bureau. A Commerce Department bureau has greater privacy invasion and harassment powers than the IRS – but with no checks and balances.
If you refuse to fill out the survey – or don’t fill it out to the bureau’s satisfaction – a follow-up letter implies that you are breaking the law, with a potential $5000 fine for failure to comply. However, Congressman Ted Poe (God Bless Texas!) proposed legislation in 2015 and again in 2016 denying the Census Bureau the power to enforce fines. The Bureau has also experimented with including/excluding such threats to determine how they affect compliance. (Arbitrary/selective enforcement? Good luck in court.)
The Commerce Department claims that aggregated survey results determine the distribution of federal/state funds for roads, infrastructure, schools, and various worthy causes. Congressmen Poe insists that the survey is unnecessary – that the Commerce Department could purchase this information from public databases at considerably less expense. (But what fun would that be?) The local caller/stalker costs taxpayers $172 a day.
The Commerce Department claims that responses remain anonymous? Really? Then why does the survey demand your name, address, age, income, etc? Hardly anonymous. Why does the Department reject answers they don’t like? Write N/A in a box on their online or paper survey, a goon might call or even show up at your door. If a citizen refuses to respond, why not move on to the next person on the survey list? Because compliance – versus anonymous, aggregated data – is the true goal. The Commerce Department must and WILL prove that Americans can be forced to comply.
How can they be certain you’re telling the truth? Perhaps they know or suspect what the answers should be.
The survey asks what time you leave for work, when you return and if you live alone. Who else lives with you? What time do they leave for work and return? Survey respondents could be robbed, assaulted and raped if/when this information falls into the wrong hands. It’s only a matter of time. The Pentagon was hacked. Are you telling me that the Census Bureau database is more secure than the Pentagon?
Letters are always sent to “The Resident.” Yet, the Commerce Department threatens in writing to keep calling your phone and returning to your home if you refuse to answer their questions. One survey-taker boasted of tracking residents via GPS!
An unlisted number? They will find it. Are phone companies divulging unlisted numbers to the Census Bureau?
Apartment/condo unit numbers are seldom listed on outside entry panels. Yet, Commerce Department goons know who you are and where you live. They ring your bell and ask for you by name.
The Commerce Department is playing a dangerous game with your right to peaceful enjoyment of property.
Survey-takers try to convince neighbors to divulge information about you.
They will stalk you in building lobbies, corridors or on private property – even when told to leave. Census Bureau goons have reportedly jumped back fences, lurked in back yards, peered in windows, and terrified children – literally making people sick.
Debt collectors are no longer permitted to stalk us. Commerce Department workers are empowered and rewarded for doing so – repeatedly calling, trying to gain access/entry to your home, condo or apartment, and remaining on your property – against your wishes. Tell them to “go away.” They will return. Refuse to take their calls. They keep calling. Tell them you will phone the police. Response: “Go ahead.” They act with sickening impunity.
How many identity thefts in this country have been instigated by Department of Commerce Census Bureau employees and part-time workers?
The Department claims that employees who divulge your information are breaking the law. Translation: Workers have the technical capability to copy/divulge our personal data and have probably done so in the past.
Commerce Department survey squads use personal computers to record answers during visits and calls. How can the Commerce Department prevent them from copying your information and/or selling it to criminals? How will the department know if/when they do so? Who will track the criminals down and restore your identity or credit? The Equal Opportunity Commission is pressuring the Commerce Department to hire convicted felons to carry out the American Community Survey! That should put your mind at ease.
Why is the Commerce Department sharing Survey data with private companies? The Target Corporation publicly thanked the Census Bureau for sharing “vital” information!
When did stalking become a privilege accorded the Commerce Department? Gathering anonymous data is one thing. Terrorizing people is another.
What can you do?
Demand that your Members of Congress reduce or eliminate funding for the invasive, money-squandering American Community Survey. They will win MAJOR political points with privacy rights advocates, the elderly and minorities for doing so. Call, write, email or tweet. Determine how they voted on this issue in the past. Eighty members tried to insert questions regarding your sexual orientation! Fortunately, they failed – for now. Vote them out. Alert political groups in your area.
If the census worker keeps stalking you, file a complaint with the police. Stalking is against the law. A reader told me that her local police insisted they could not get involved since the stalker was a government employee! However, it is my understanding that the police must permit you to place your concern on the record by phone or in writing if you fear that an individual might harm you – irrespective of the individual’s line of work. (What if the stalker is a policeman? Would you have no right to take action? Ridiculous.) While it might not curtail the stalker, at least this will give you some peace of mind. And PLEASE check with a local attorney before doing so. I am not an attorney, but only a traveler down the same road.
You should also keep a written record of every call, every incident. The harassment might begin after you submit the Survey or the 2020 Census. Take a photo of the form you fill out online or plan to mail. Keep copies of the envelope as well, with the envelope barcode intact. Protect yourself.