Originally published September 17 2013
Federal consumer 'protection' bureau caught data-mining the private financial records of millions of Americans
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The very nature of the Obama administration is an exercise in Orwellian theory.
The president claims that his administration will be the "most transparent" in U.S. history but covers up everything.
He claims to want to "help working class families," but he directs his bureaucracy to unleash a torrent of regulations that kill jobs.
He promises that Obamacare will provide all Americans with healthcare coverage and be less expensive; neither promise is true.
And he pledged that, with a new agency, he would protect Americans' private financial interests.
Turns out that that's not true, either.
The Orwellian world of Obama
According to the Washington Examiner:
Serious allegations are being raised in the legal community that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recruited the U.S. Trustee Program to collect bankruptcy data on its behalf to aid a controversial data-mining program.
Documents obtained by the Washington Examiner describe efforts by the CFPB to collect a decade's worth of private financial data on the consumer behavior of five million American citizens without their knowledge or consent. The CFPB data-mining campaign has alarmed privacy watchdogs.
Yes, it's the Orwellian world of Obama, where up is down, protection means exploitation and constitutional protections are merely suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules.
The U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) was created by Congress in 1978 to "be a rigorously neutral agency within the Justice Department (another Orwellian exercise under Obama). Attorneys for the USTP are supposed to be impartial to a fault, serving as a "watchdog over the bankruptcy process," the agency's website says.
But if this DOJ division is in any way helping the CFPB's program of data-mining, bankruptcy authorities say that such action would be an "unprecedented" violation of the USTP's founding philosophy and ruin its reputation for independence.
As usual, reports the Examiner, officials with CFPB and USTP "were reluctant to respond to questions about their agencies' relationship and the data-mining program."
Concerns about the privacy abuses arose first on May 11, 2012, when USTP lawyer J. Steven Wilkes filed what observers thought to be an unusual discovery request with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa, Fla.
More from the Examiner:
Citing a small number of Florida-based bankruptcy cases filed before the court, Wilkes asked for millions of unrelated bankruptcy files nationwide that were in the possession of Morgan Drexen, a California-based administrative-support company serving more than 100 bankruptcy lawyers.
Wilkes asked for all Morgan Drexen cases in its system from Jan. 1, 2008, for Chapter, 7, 11, 12 or 13 proceedings, where the company "was at any time assisting an attorney for a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding."
Although filed in the Region 21 bankruptcy court, Wilkes' request covered the entire United States.
In response, the company, which is based in Costa Mesa, said that such a request reached far beyond the regional bankruptcy court's jurisdiction, because Wilkes was seeking "the production of documents and other items relating to any bankruptcy case, presumably pending in any court in the United States."
Morgan Drexen lawyers described the request as "overbroad" and one that went "well beyond the relevancy of the matters at issue in this case." So, in June 2012, the company requested federal bankruptcy Judge Caryl E. Delano issue a "protective order" blocking the request.
'Millions of private documents'
Finally, in November, Delano agreed with Morgan Drexen, so she sharply limited the U.S. Trustee's access to files for just seven Florida bankruptcy cases.
Now, the CFPB and Morgan Drexen are battling in court, through competing lawsuits, before federal courts in Washington, D.C., and California.
Constitutional experts agree with Delano and Morgan Drexen, the paper reported. Experts say that the Wilkes request raises substantial issues about the USTP's independence and whether CFPB is working to politicize the judicial program in order to help the bureau with its data-mining efforts.
Executives with Morgan Drexen say that the CFPB request likely involves millions of private documents of Americans who are in financial trouble. The firm is a software storage company that keeps documents for bankruptcy lawyers.
Remember, as we reported during the 2012 election cycle, the Obama administration is all about data-mining: http://www.naturalnews.com.
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