Port: ‘We are fast approaching a surveillance state,’ Rep. Armstrong warns colleagues


MINOT, N.D. — I’ll admit to being dubious about the newly formed House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Like so much of what takes place in Washington, D.C., it seems like another example of partisan ax-grinding. Just more gotcha politics under the thin veneer of congressional oversight.

But Congressman Kelly Armstrong seems intent on using his place on this committee to pursue an imminent and very tangible problem. Specifically, the federal government doing an end-run around our Fourth Amendment protections using consumer data purchased from the private sector.

During the inaugural meeting of the committee earlier this month, which featured much of the unserious hoopla we’ve come to expect from members of Congress, Rep. Armstrong put his finger on a very serious issue worthy of the attention of Congress. He pointed out that private sector companies are accumulating massive amounts of data about us — from our shopping habits to our pictures to our movements about our communities — and that the federal government doesn’t need your permission, or even a warrant, to access this information.

All they have to provide is money.

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