Please Call to Stop Student Privacy-Torching Bills Now   4 comments

It’s a good day to call Congress.

It’s a good week to call repeatedly.

I hope thousands will pick up their phones to call (202-224-3121) to halt the student/citizen privacy-torching bills that are now up for a vote.


Here’s why.

Bills that destroy privacy in the name of research are right now, quite incomprehensibly, being sponsored by Republicans Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, and Trey Goudy, as well as Democrat Patty Murray.

Even though public comment was overwhelmingly AGAINST the formation of a federal database on individual citizens, the bills are moving, without debate.

Missouri Education Watchdog pointed out:

“There was tremendous public opposition to the CEP Commission’s proposal to create a national student record, as stated on page 30 of the CEP report:

Nearly two-thirds of the comments received in response to the Commission’s Request for Comments raised concerns about student records, with the majority of those comments in opposition to overturning the student unit record ban or otherwise enabling the Federal government to compile records about individual students.’ ”  

Bless the dear soul of the CEP clerk who was honest enough to publish that important tidbit in the CEP’s report of public comment.  But still, the CEP ignored the public’s wishes, and now, Paul Ryan and friends plan to continue to ignore the American people and to skip the debate process that Congress is supposed to follow.

Here are the bills:

In both cases, the promotion byte for passage of the bills is the government’s desire to do “transparent” research on the people, for the people’s own good.  Congress calls this “evidence-based policymaking“.

But a stalker could call his studies evidence-gathering, too.  Without informed consent, there is no justification for evidence-gathering on individuals.  I honestly keep scratching my head as to why these representatives and senators don’t get it.  Is someone paying them to give away Americans’ rights?  Do they honestly, in their heart of hearts, not see that this is theft?

Many trustworthy sources are in a panic about this, as am I.  Read what Missouri Ed Watchdog, Education Liberty Watch, and McGroarty/Robbins have written about this:  here and here and here 
Months ago, I wrote about Ryan’s precursor, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policy (CEP) and its designs– here.
I recorded the core of what the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) was doing, after I’d painfully viewed hours of Ryan’s CEP Commission’s public meetings that promoted the benefits (to researchers and to the government) of creating a federal database of personally identifiable, individual information.  –By the way, no mention was ever made of gaining informed consent from citizens, prior to creating that database.  Lip service was given to the idea of “ensuring” that no unauthorized citizen could hack the federal database (an impossible thing to ensure).  At the time of the Commission’s posting of that video and my writing about it, I complained that their video was not embeddable.   Today, their video’s not even there.   Still, I do have an exchange, which I had typed up on that day:
The question was asked of the Commission:

“Let me try and ask what I think is a very difficult question …  you are working to bring data from other agencies or you have…  you’ve broadened their mission and you are bringing together data from many agencies and allowing researchers in and outside of government to access the data that you’ve brought together.  What are the ways that you could expand those efforts?  Um, and I’m not suggesting that we talk about a single statistical agency across government, but how could there be more of a coordination or maybe a virtual one statistical agency where census is playing a coordinating role, or what kinds of movements in that direction should we think about?…  What are the barriers to moving toward more coordination between the statistical agencies?”

The response at 1:29 from the CEP:

“… different rules that are attached to data that are sourced from different agencies or different levels of, you know, whether it’s federal or state… that if there was broad agreement in, that, you know, if there was one law that prosc–  had the confidentiality protections for broad classes of data, as opposed to, you know, here’s data with pii on it that’s collected from SSA, here’s data with pii on it that’s collected from the IRS; here’s data with pii on it that’s collected from a stateversus from a statistical agency– if data with pii on it was treated the same, you know I think that would permit, you know, organizations that were collecting pii-laden data for different purposes to make those data available more easily. Now, that’s probably a pretty heavy lift… do this in sort of baby steps as opposed to ripping the band aid. I think ripping the band-aid would probably not fly.”




So, months ago, Ryan’s CEP  admitted  that what it was doing would be considered unacceptable, so unacceptable that it “would probably not fly” so they ought to carefully trick the American people by moving toward such a centralized database in “baby steps”.

Yet, this week,  Ryan’s CEP has skipped its own recommended baby steps,  and is about to openly rip off more than just a band aid from the American people.

Congress is about to vote to rip off American privacy rights.

Pro-citizen-tracking Republicans and data-desperate researchers are making a bet that the American people are so asleep or confused or unconcerned, that we will say nothing while they make the theft of individual privacy justified, under new laws.

The CEP and Paul Ryan are undoubtedly good folks with research-driven intentions, butno good intention can supercede the vital importance of this basic American right: to keep personal privacy– to not be tracked, as an innocent citizen, without reason or warrant, by the government.


Please call and stop these bills.

Call Congress– 202-224-3121.  Or check the directory here. 

If you don’t know what to say, use this simple truth: that without individuals’ informed consent, it is theft to collect and store an innocent citizen’s personally identifiable information.  If an individual does this to another individual, it’s punishably wrong; if a government does it to individuals, even after voting itself into justification of the act, it’s still wrong.

Please call, and call, and call.  (202-224-3121)



4 responses to “Please Call to Stop Student Privacy-Torching Bills Now

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  1. Reblogged this on PatriotRNaliveblog.

  2. We did all we could in the short week we had to stop this bill. We had people all over the country calling their Reps and asking them to request a Roll Call vote on HR4174 and then to vote NO for the bill. Through the generosity of PJNET we pulled off a twitter rally But I guess they fear Speaker Ryan more than they do the American voter. I believe the 2018 is time for the voters to drain the swamp of every incumbent. They have ALL overstayed their usefulness to the people. They now serve a different master and it is time to relieve them of their duty. Vote for no incumbent. NONE. Even the good ones are not all that good. There are several other bills they must pass in order to have control of all data on ALL Americans. HR3157, HR2434, HR4274 all bills meant to erode privacy. They lie and we let them. Speaker Ryan flat out avoided all sides of what HR4174 would do. Just like our kids on get the on sided story or Islam. Just like we were lied to about Common Core and ESSA. They lie and we need to all understand that if they open their mouth they are lying. So now we have the database they have been dreaming about. The data is the real agenda behind education reform and it was the REAL reason for national Common Core standards. When every state had different standards it was impossible for them to get the data they want. HR3157 (they may change this number) will probably be the next bill they pass because it will further weaken FERPA. HR2434 will allow personal data to be collected on our college students. Of course they won’t tell you the truth but like Islam there is a good side and a very bad side they just refuse to tell us about the bad side. The same goes for most pieces of legislation especially education and privacy legislation. They do NOTHING and mean NOTHING to benefit parents or our children. When this legislative sessions is over we will one giant step close to looking more like Communist China than America. You all might want to remind President Trump of his promise in this video and ask him to VETO HR4174. I have been tweeting to him since last night and include the link to the video. PRESIDENT TRUMP NEEDS TO BE REMINDED OF HIS PROMISE.

    • The problem isn’t that Trump has done nothing to eliminate Common Core, it’s that the people don’t understand that it is not the president’s job. Common Core was not an act of government, it is a contract. It cannot lawfully be undone by anyone but We The People, holding our individual representatives accountable at the LOCAL level. It comes down to the school board Trustees and Superintendents at the lacal school districts, and anyone still looking to the federal govt to end it is delusional. Sorry, but that’s the 100% truth.

      • My response had nothing to do with Common Core. It pertained to legislation currently being passed to allow data mining at the federal level (HR4174/S2046). We need to stop S2046 from being passed. If it is passed Trump CAN veto the legislation. Next is HR3157 which will further weaken FERPA. Because you brought up Common Core I will say this: CC was codified into federal law under ESSA so you are right Trump cannot get rid of CC and I understood that when he was promising to get rid of it and people believed him. When it comes to education he is clueless and they want him to stay that way.

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