Civil Liberties & Privacy

Book Review: Property and Freedom

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Property and Freedom by Richard Pipes (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999); 328pages; $30. In his 1848 treatise, The Principles of Political Economy, John Stuart Mill stated: "The laws and conditions of the production of wealth partake of the character of physical laws. There is nothing optional or arbitrary in them.... It is not so with the distribution of ... [click for more]

The Mirage of Administrative Justice

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The trademark of modern political thinking is faith in discretionary power wielded by benevolent politicians and administrators and in letting government employees treat private citizens as they think best. We have far more federal agencies than we used to have, and they are under less restraint than what they ... [click for more]

Sabotaging Privacy for Political Profit

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Federal regulators announced last December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, a brazen scheme to convert banks into conspirators against their depositors. The "Know Your Customer" rules were a landmark in the history of the attempted subversion of American privacy and property rights. But enough Americans rallied — at least temporarily — to block this power grab. The proposed rules vastly expanded ... [click for more]

Order by Agreements or by Iron Fists

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In his 1651 classic, Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes warned: "To obey the King who is God's lieutenant, is the same as to obey God. We shall have no peace till we have absolute obedience." Many contemporary statists share Hobbes's assumption that near-total control is the only way to avoid near-certain destruction ... [click for more]

Know Your Government

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a new way to protect us and our banks. It proposes a mandatory program for insured nonmember banks called "Know Your Customer." (Member banks are presumably already under such an obligation.) This is not some friendly way for banks to serve us better. No, this is right out of Orwell. Here's what Big ... [click for more]

Robbery with an Environmental Badge

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As the federal government has devoted itself to rescuing Americans from more perils, fair treatment of individuals is a luxury that the government can no longer afford. Few programs better illustrate the modern contempt for due process than Superfund. Congress enacted Superfund in 1980 to deal with the problem of abandoned hazardous waste sites. Since 1980, the Environmental Protection Agency ... [click for more]

Financial Privacy: R.I.P.

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Okay, this is going too far. According to the Federal Register of December 7, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) wants a new way to snoop on us. It proposes a mandatory program for insured nonmember banks called "Know Your Customer." This is not some friendly way for banks to serve ... [click for more]

Clinton Tests Our Devotion to Liberty

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President Clinton is up to something that will surely put the American people's love of liberty to the test. He wants to assign every citizen a "unique health identifier," an identification number that would permit the government to gather information about our health and compile it into a national database. No one noticed when ... [click for more]

The Fires of Waco Are Still Burning

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Waco: The Rules of Engagement, a new film now available on video cassette, and recently nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary, is one of the most educational films ever made. Many Americans were transfixed by the images of the FBI tanks in April 1993 smashing into a building occupied by scores of women and children — ... [click for more]

Compromise and Concealment-The Road to Defeat, Part 4

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to engage in any peaceful activity without governmental permission or interference. It is one of the duties of government, libertarians hold, to protect, not regulate or obstruct, peaceful activities. Thus, libertarians ... [click for more]
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