Over the generations, Americans have allowed our elected leaders to run roughshod over the Constitution to the point where instead of that document holding them to account, they ignore it and use the power amassed in Washington, D.C., over the past 100 years against We the People.
Everything we say, everything we buy, everything we do is tracked, catalogued and used in a manner to subvert our individualism and liberties -- so much so that our framers, if they could be reincarnated for a period of time to 'check on' the republic they bequeathed us, would be aghast at the tyrannical nature of the 'small central government' they envisioned.
Case in point: Massive pieces of legislation that contain thousands of pages filled with tedious language that few outside of the corridors of power understand. The bills are so large, in fact, that even conscientious lawmakers still attempting to preserve our republic as founded can't even read them before they are expected to vote on them.
As such, egregious breaches of the Constitution and fundamental rights like the right to privacy in our "persons, papers, and effects" that are buried in the text of such gargantuan bills are passed with few outside of the person who wrote the passage ever being aware.
The forthcoming Senate draft of Biden's infrastructure bill—a 2,000+ page bill designed to update the United States’ roads, highways, and digital infrastructure—contains a poorly crafted provision that could create new surveillance requirements for many within the blockchain ecosystem. This could include developers and others who do not control digital assets on behalf of users.
While the language is still evolving, the proposal would seek to expand the definition of “broker” under section 6045(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include anyone who is “responsible for and regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets” on behalf of another person. These newly defined brokers would be required to comply with IRS reporting requirements for brokers, including filing form 1099s with the IRS. That means they would have to collect user data, including users’ names and addresses.
The EFF noted that the language is overly broad and confusing, which is typical for legislation today in Congress, because it gives the lawyers and the lawmakers an advantage over the more plainspoken masses.
That said, the organization notes that the language nevertheless "leaves open a door for almost any entity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem to be considered a 'broker'—including software developers and cryptocurrency startups that aren’t custodying or controlling assets on behalf of their users."
That could also eventually target miners, or individuals who confirm and then verify all blockchain transfers.
Like the social media behemoths, this provision will give the government 'authority' to "collect names, addresses, and transactions of customers means almost every company even tangentially related to cryptocurrency may suddenly be forced to surveil their users," EFF states.
The organization admits that it isn't clear how all of this will actually work in practice, but with overly broad language, you can bet it will work however the powers that be want it to work to give them more leverage over average citizens.
EFF also admits that the language may not have been the intent of the drafters of the provision, but the problem is, "given the rapid timeline for the bill’s likely passage, those answers may not be resolved before it hits the Senate floor for a vote."
That said, this is also true: 'Nothing happens in politics by chance.'