Monday, May 15, 2006

ACLU mining financial data, ignores its own criticism of others who do it

File this one under "Good enough for me, but not for thee", a mentality frequently exhibited by leftists. From Stop the ACLU:
Via ACLU Website:
In a story released today in USA Today it was revealed that the NSA has been collecting call information about millions of American residents and businesses served by Verizon, AT&T and BellSouth. One industry insider referred to it as the “largest database ever assembled in the world.” The American Civil Liberties Union strongly condemned the Bush administration’s most egregious abuse of power to date.
While Congress is investigating that, maybe they should also take some time to investigate the hypocritical practices of the ACLU delving into its own members’ private financial information. After all, that is much more intrusive, and has nothing to do with national security.
The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders’ commitment to privacy rights.

Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization’s frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes.
Yes, a mockery indeed.
The group’s new data collection practices were implemented without the board’s approval or knowledge and were in violation of the ACLU’s privacy policy at the time, according to Michael Meyers, vice president of the organization and a frequent internal critic. He said he had learned about the new research by accident Nov. 7 during a meeting of the committee that is organizing the group’s Biennial Conference in July.

He objected to the practices, and the next day, the privacy policy on the group’s Web site was changed. “They took out all the language that would show that they were violating their own policy,” Meyers said. “In doing so, they sanctified their procedure while still keeping it secret.”
After spending 23 years on the ACLU board, the “defenders of free speech” issued gag orders to him, not to speak about the issue.
The people who are trying to gag my speech and Wendy Cabman’s (ph) speech, they are the enemies of freedom. They are the enemies of free speech. And we’re not going to concede the control of the ACLU to these renegades who are trying to hijack the ACLU.
Talk about compromising your values. This is the most hypocritical organization out there! Can someone please gag their whining? I’m tired of hearing about it. The ACLU have absolutely no room to talk on this issue. Perhaps they should practice their right to remain silent.
Who wants to bet that Congress, specifically Leaky Leahy (boy, talk about gall that he's outraged!) and Kennedrunk and Arlen, Specter...won't be calling the ACLU to the floor anytime soon?