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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/13/16

Your Money or Your Life: What's Behind the Latest Government Scam to Rob You Blind?

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It's not just cash that is going digital, either.

A growing number of states--including Delaware and California--are looking to adopt digital driver's licenses that would reside on your mobile phone. These licenses would include all of the information contained on your printed license, along with a few "extras" such as real-time data downloaded directly from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

Of course, reading between the lines, having a digital driver's license will open you up to much the same jeopardy as digital cash: it will make it possible for the government to better track your movements, monitor your activities and communications and ultimately shut you down.

So what's the deal here?

First, it's hard to imagine how a cashless world navigated by way of a digital wallet doesn't signal the beginning of the end for what little privacy we have left and leave us vulnerable to the likes of government thieves and data hackers.

Second, digital wallets will make it that much easier for government agents to take advantage of civil asset forfeiture schemes. ERAD (Electronic Recovery and Access to Data) devices supplied by the Department of Homeland Security allow police to not only determine the balance of any magnetic-stripe card (i.e., debit, credit and gift cards) but also freeze and seize any funds on pre-paid money cards.

Third, the war on cash is about giving the government the ultimate control of the economy and complete access to the citizenry's pocketbook.

Fourth, every technological convenience that has made our lives easier has also become our Achilles' heel, opening us up to greater vulnerabilities from hackers and government agents alike. Digital cash will be no different. In recent years, the U.S. government and a host of financial institutions, retailers and entertainment giants have been repeatedly hacked. And these are the people in charge of protecting our sensitive information?

Fifth, if there's one entity that will not stop using cash for its own nefarious purposes, it's the U.S. government. Who could forget the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills that the U.S. flew to Iraq only to claim it had no record of what happened to the money.

Sixth, this drive to do away with cash is part of a larger global trend driven by international financial institutions and the United Nations that is transforming nations of all sizes, from the smallest nation to the biggest, most advanced economies.

Finally, short of returning to a pre-technological, Luddite age, there's really no way to pull this horse back now that it's left the gate.

To our detriment, we really have little control over who accesses our private information, how it is stored, or how it is used. Whether we ever had much control remains up for debate. However, in terms of our bargaining power over digital privacy rights, we have been reduced to a pitiful, unenviable position in which we can only hope and trust that those in power will treat our information with respect.

America's founders, however, did not believe in trusting government officials or giving them too much power. In fact, they believed those entrusted with power will eventually pervert it into tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson observed, "Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

Unfortunately, that Constitution has since been shredded.

Our republic has been transformed into an oligarchy.

We have come full circle, back to a pre-revolutionary era of taxation without any real representation.

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John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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