Of Arms and the Law: Privacy Act request to report health plan objections: "The Administration has asked that anyone who gets an email or 'see[s] something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy' report it to email@example.com.
Evan Coyne Malone suggests the request may be illegal under the Privacy Act and the Dept of Justice's statement about its purpose.
As a recovering bureaucrat, I can point to a much, much, bigger illegality under that Act.
5 US Code §552a(e)(7) commands that any Federal agency
'(7) maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity;'"
So say two conservative bloggers. Whether or not it is illegal, this White House request is outrageous, and if Bush had done it the press would have gone ballistic.