ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Will Democrats Sell Your Political Opinions to Credit Card Companies?

State Democratic parties formed a cooperative to sell their voter data. Now they’re looking for commercial customers.

.

A Democratic party volunteer knocks on the door of a potential voter while canvassing on Oct. 28, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio. State Democratic parties formed a cooperative to sell their voter data. Now they’re looking for commercial customers. (John Moore/Getty Images)

For years, state Democratic parties have been gathering information about individual voters' political leanings. They have noted down the opinions voters shared with canvassers — which candidates they said they supported or their positions on policy issues.

Now, the record of what people told Democratic volunteers may go up for sale — and not just to political groups. Democrats are looking into whether credit card companies, retailers like Target or other commercial interests may want to buy the information.

State Democratic party leaders formed the National Voter File Co-op in 2011 to sell their voter data to approved groups like the NAACP. The goal was to recoup some of the money local Democratic parties spent collecting and updating their local voter lists, which include voters of all parties.

Much of the data the co-op sells comes from the government and is already part of the public record — information such as voters' names, addresses and party affiliation.

But local Democratic parties also have information about voters' views and preferences collected over many campaign cycles. (We wrote about Minnesota's data-collecting "Grandma Brigade" last month.) Some state Democratic parties have used this raw data to create sophisticated estimates of how likely any voter is to vote for a Democrat, support Barack Obama or have certain opinions, say, on abortion or gun control.

As the co-op moves into its second year of selling data in an already crowded marketplace, it's looking for new potential clients — and companies who may use the data for commercial purposes, as opposed to political ones, are on the list.

"That's one of our growth areas," said Drew Brighton of TargetSmart Communications, which helps administer and market the Co-op's data. "Over the next six months, we are going to go ahead and make the rounds with some corporate prospects."

Brighton said retailers, for example, might be interested in figuring out if their customers are primarily Democrats or Republicans. "People want to know who shops in their stores," he said.

Democrats involved with the co-op do not know what companies might be most interested in buying their voter data.

"What the co-op is doing is saying, 'Look, there's a wealth of information here, that could potentially benefit your corporation or your business interests,'" said Ken Martin, a member of the co-op's board, and the chairman of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

"Everything is on the table, nothing's off the table. It's up to us to figure out what [data] there's a market for, and whether there's a comfort level among state parties for selling that information," he said.

Each state Democratic Party will have the final say over whether to sell their voter information for commercial purposes. If state party leaders aren't comfortable with selling proprietary data to a certain client, they can opt out.

Individual states have different laws about how their public voting records can be used. Many states mandate that public voter rolls can only be used for "political purposes," and some states explicitly ban using voting records for "commercial purposes." The co-op and its clients must abide by these rules.

But state political data laws do not apply to the information about voters that the party itself has gathered.

"Generally, information freely provided to the party by the voter, or data about who participated in a primary [that the party collects] is not subject to any prohibition on it being sold," said Karl Sandstrom, a former vice-chairman of the Federal Elections Commission and an attorney for the co-op.

This means Democrats are free to sell the opinions voters give to campaign canvassers to credit card companies or marketing firms.

Whether they will choose to do this isn't certain. Martin, the Minnesota Democratic chairman, said that party leaders will have to weigh the risks of any potential deal.

"Obviously, we know we could make money off our file, but it always comes back to the question of, at what cost?" Martin said.

He said he would evaluate commercial deals on a case-by-case basis.

"I'm not opposed to selling the data if it's a corporation who shares our values and is going to do some good work with that data."

Wal-Mart, for instance, would not make the cut, he said.

Whether corporations are interested in buying the co-op's data remains to be seen. Wal-Mart did not respond to a request for comment about whether it would be interested in buying information about its customers' political beliefs.

Consumer data companies like Experian already peddle information about individuals' political beliefs and donation histories — and also link this information to their consumer habits. This November, Experian Simmons released a study breaking down the political leanings of shoppers at J. Crew, Lady Foot Locker, and more than 100 other major retailers.

But the fact that selling voters' opinions to companies is even an option for Democrats is another example of how rapidly the data industry is evolving — and how little information individuals have about how their data is being shared.

In his "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights," released last year, President Barack Obama argued that when companies collect personal data from consumers, they should only share it in ways consumers expect.

If a company decides it wants to share personal information in a new way, Obama suggested, it should notify the consumers who are affected and provide them with choices about how their data is used.

Although Obama pledged to work with Congress to make the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights into law, that hasn't happened yet.

Joseph Turow, a privacy expert at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, said the possibility that Democrats might repurpose voters' opinions for commercial marketing is problematic — particularly because they had collected that information through "a relationship of trust" with voters.

Both Democrats and Republicans have long traded information about voters' opinions with outside political groups. Long-time Republican activists have created a new group, the Data Trust, to manage the Republican National Committee's data and coordinate data exchanges between the RNC and conservative and issue advocacy groups.

Asked if the Republican Party sells the party's proprietary data to retailers or credit card companies, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowsi wrote, "Absolutely not — hasn't happened in past and won't in [the] future."

The Obama campaign's own closely guarded trove of voter information will be used to mobilize support for the president's agenda through a new nonprofit advocacy group, Organizing for Action, led by top Obama aides.

It's not clear what other groups may be given access to Obama's voter data. Organizing for Action did not respond to a request for comment. Staffers have said that passing on the campaign's voter information to an Obama-focused nonprofit reflects the wishes of the president's supporters, although supporters were not asked directly about how the campaign should treat their data.

Sandstrom, the lawyer for the state Democratic parties' National Voter File Co-op, said he doubted the co-op would actually end up selling voters' opinions for commercial uses, calling it an "abstract concern."

Democratic Party chairs were not eager to weigh in on the issue.

Last week, ProPublica contacted 11 Democratic state party chairs — some of them newly elected to their positions — about the National Voter File Co-op. Party chairs in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin declined or did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

New Hampshire Democratic chair Ray Buckley, who leads the Association of State Democratic Chairs, also declined to comment.

I feel like, if I stalked my neighbors and tried to sell the information, there would already be a law against it.

Gotta admit, though, that this disappoints me.  If I was planning to sell that kind of information, I’d start with Facebook and Google (who are trying to figure all this about you, anyway) and work my way through companies that deal with controversial fields (day-after pills, perhaps?  Guns?) and even cable companies long before checking with Target.

Then, maybe foreign governments would like to know how you voted before issuing you a visa.  Or unions could find it very interesting to see whether you’ll probably vote the way they recommend.  Oh, and insurance companies would love another superficial way to measure you.  And oh, local police departments…

But a credit card company?  It’s not like they don’t already know what books you read and comedians you watch, for the most part.

More reflective of my assumptions, though, is that there won’t be a law passed on handling people’s data until the current politicians have squeezed all the value they can from us.

GoGo Foundation

Feb. 5, 2013, 5:05 p.m.

We have been enjoying by reading your ongoing discussiln.

GoGo Foundation
Kathmandu, Nepal

What a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea.

This feels like betrayal.  I never expected my political opinions and ideas shared with “friends” in support of a shared political cause would be documented and sold to the highest commercial bidder.  This shows no respect for personal privacy.  Even ardently pro-business Republicans are refusing to do this.

Richard Grasser

Feb. 5, 2013, 5:46 p.m.

So how to protect against such abuse? Tell them incoherant crap to start with - an efficient way to contaminate these data rendering them pretty useles, as long as enough people pursue that game actively! Same applies to your internet searches, randomly look for stuff completely unrelated to you - lie as much as you can in the interest of preserving privacy! Since our privacy has gone a long time ago, let’s cooperate and declare war and bomb them with useless clutter and fabricated information whenever you can.

Maggie Harling

Feb. 5, 2013, 6:09 p.m.

Well… That’s the last donation the Democrats are going to get from me…

Never thought I’d change my registration as a Democrat, but this kind of stuff is playing tickly-bender with shame. But then, I’m an old fart who refuses to open a Facebuk account because I simply don’t trust them. Now this!

Democratic party is now joining the Republicans to be the second party of Stupid. What an absolutely money-grubbing sell-out. I am so disheartened that the Democratic Party could even entertain such a thought. Clearly, those who value privacy have no political home. We no longer have even one moderately progressive party in this nation anymore that caters to the rights and interests of the common person. We have a right-wing Republican party and a center-right Democratic party that puts corporate interests, the FSI (financial services industry), and blatant fundraising self-interest first! Perfect way to make sure that nobody tells you how they feel about the issues. I won’t tell anyone anything again. Polling data will be crap. Pretty stupid for a political party. I’ll now be forced to ask to read the party’s privacy policy before interacting in any way (including donating) in the future. Changing my party registration to independent if this happens in any state!. What an absolute betrayal!

I’ve never said more than “hello….I’m not interested in talking to you…goodbye” since I can remember getting these intrusive calls..

They already know my party affiliation from how I’m registered.

The snail mail surveys go from the mailbox to the rotary file

Bryan’s right about the privacy thing and all the consequences the Democratic party will suffer. Forget the privacy policy.  It will be a gazillion pages long written by an army of lawyers and only one you to read it.

They can keep whatever they know about me - I have no illusions about privacy. Just don’t ask me to voluntarily participate in the process.

Another reason I will no longer particpate in political polls as my trust level has bottomed out.  I was unaware that Experian even had this information and have to wonder how they obtained it.

Just talked to my state party’s data coordinator and drew her attention to this article. She basically said it’s no big deal and didn’t see any problem with selling data to other entities.

She generally had the attitude that sharing the data that the Democratic Party gathers is not a problem, because private polling firms sell their data to companies and others. Heck, she even admitted the state Democratic Party buys data like that from other data brokers including the credit card companies and aggregates it with their internal data to do it’s voter work… so why shouldn’t others be able to peer into your life and figure out how to manipulate you (or your kids) better.

Sure, Democratic Party, why not help the local Chevrolet dealer more easily identify the young person who doesn’t understand math and get them to sign up for a 7 year car loan at 22% interest (like just almost happened to a step daughter)! Well if the Democratic Party wants to get down in the dirt and roll around in the ethical sleaze, then it’s not a Party that I can continue to vote for. I will “throw away” my vote the next time around. I have not voted for a Republican in 35 years and I vote in every election.

The Democrat retards are going to sell out their constituents - what else is new?  This might just bury these corrupt fools!
And their going to ‘discriminate’ another ‘Jackass’ policy!  Go Fools!

No, no a thousand times no!  There is just one registered Democrat in this house and we feel it is not a good idea.  We get an average of 7-10 mailings per month for credit cards and we don’t want them.  One more just might make us sillier than we are.  Please don’t do it.

@BS7SDEN No, What is going to bury your party is keep nominating candidates like Romney, Aiken and Mourdock.  On a show today, a Republican strategist admitted that Romney was not a good candidate.

I like what Richard Grasser said…So how to protect against such abuse? Tell them incoherant crap to start with - an efficient way to contaminate these data rendering them pretty useless, I would love to have some college techie…build a search engine that we can leave running all night…searching for random garbage to screw up the data mining of search engines!  (I would pay for one)...Also…Sure glad I never participated in any surveys…I would really feel betrayed by the Demo-RATS.

This just smells like the sore losers are out to make whoever they can miserable. How far should I go back to explain both parties abilities to make fiction out of thin air. You got Watergate, Clinton and the stain (how many billions spent for what) Iran contra, the birther issue with the current admin. Imagine if all this time and energy was put in to making things better? Na there are a few new ones like this guy Ted Cruz. He mugged Hagel? Cruz opens grandstands, asks question then tells Hagel we don’t have time for your answer. Mind you , these are 2 REPUBLICANS at it or maybe I should say I Republican putting another republican down. What is one to think?

Mr Tom Ontis,
Please sir, kindly explain to me how 1 Demo in the house, I get that
7 to 10 credit apps per month, I get that

Now please bear with me. Would you kindly connect those 2 statements and tell me how one works off the other?

What did you mean ” Please don’t do what”?

PRIVACY PRIVACY PRIVACY

This word has been thrown around so much it appears many of you like it, well may I remind you that George W Bush thru the help of Cheney initiated the PATRIOT ACT and in the last few months Barrack Obama signed this item back on so it would not expire. I suggest that before you take your theories and turn them into facts you read what the hell this monster anti privacy, cuz I am looking for terrorist bill is. Then you can speak with some intelligence.

Sorry to bring you all this bad news. I did not make this up

Liberals are so delightfully hypocritical! They’re all about collectivism and hive mindedness…..until something affects them personally LMAO!  It is however nice to see a few of the Ozombie sheep are waking up and realizing that the party of “tolerance and respect” is every bit as corrupt as the republicans.

How’s that hopey changey BS working for you?

Oh please, Libs are hypocritical?  Have you looked at the Republicon Party lately?  Now there’s a fine example of hypocritical.  They love Jesus and kill others in the name of Jesus who specifically said turn the other cheek.  The Republican’s say take food stamps and help away from the poor, disabled and again Jesus said “feed the poor, care for the sick” which is in direct conflict with the Republican agenda.  Yes, the Dems are hypocritical also, no denying that, but it’s usually the Conservative Dems who are hypocritical about things.  At least President Obama doesn’t want to take food out of my mouth or health care away from me.  Not that u need to know, but a vet, hard working person who is now disabled so I’m living on $1,000 a month and the Repubs are wanting to take more away.  Hypocritical definately.  Maddeningly so.

John Burciaga

Feb. 6, 2013, 10:54 a.m.

Why am I not surprised?

This seems like a good time for me to switch from telling pollsters nothing to telling them some really good lies.

I don’t get it. Why do people continually put each other down no matter what party you like or vote for. The negative energy is over the top. We live in a republic thats controlled by predator lobbyist and you guys are bitching like little ole babushkas on the side of the road in Eastern Europe. How bout a solution. Make suggestions. Your pissed so am I but there are productive ways to turn our anger into results. The 60s were good to some. A lot was learned. Today we riot by talking about how we would do it at cocktail parties over drinks. That’s bullshit. Big Pharma has got most of the country on meds anti this anti that. Well it’s working people have forget how to think and put 2plus2 together. I don’t have a solution but I have the answers I just wish the politicians knew the questions. I heard a quote the other day and it went I think like this
” if the media asked questions like the politicians there would be no more journalism”

Guys, take the partisan schtick to YouTube or Reddit or some other asinine site where people pretend to care about your sound bites and totally not childish name-calling.

The time you waste bickering about whose capo-di-capo has more of a divine right to rule over the sovereign population is the time the minions spend pushing through these policies making us less sovereign.

Both major parties have devolved into brand names, nothing more.  Like your choice of soft drink, live with it, fight against their abuses, or go back to 4chan.

From my viewpoint I see 2 wings, democrats and republicans but guess what they all belong to the same bird. That the f__kin problem. I have asked for years how can I tell what lobby bought my congressman and senator. Not revealed. I suggest they all wear patches just like they do in NASCAR, you can see who they sold out to and who owns them. They don’t speak for you any more. One person here is glad that President Obama has not taken food or healthcare. I am all for social medicine however these morons that’s both sides have not considered whats gonna happen to the rehabs that treat all the addicts and drunks when Ovamacare closes them for they are not addressed in his bill Big Pharma had a role in getting everyone on meds by having the physicians get free shit for prescribing there drugs. Where and why do they still produce barrels of oxie ? Government is business and should be treated as one. We lose money everyday but the politicians get a raise? My social security goes up maybe $18. Come on, put the politicians on straight commission. When they make money they get paid.

Byard Pidgeon

Feb. 6, 2013, 10:36 p.m.

Be sure to wear latex gloves whenever you take a survey, sign a petition, or attend any political function…they’re going to steal your DNA, if they can.

Bayard, equation for contracting DNA is not going to hpen thru just the use of rubber gloves,one must add more chemical that is hydrochloric acid, that is what elimates all DNA from any crime scene or any operation that must be cleansed. You would prepare a rinse of the chemical diluted with H20 and a measured amt of the acid and your in. Then with extremeties still moist insert in the glove and walla

I have read stories where this was used in chemical detonation handled by an asset and using a. Excessive amt around you creates a barrier. I red this from a journal of a Russian munchnik who at the turn f the century was making bombs in his laboratory outside Moscow for the revolutionaries were given Molotov coscktails. Tis is where this bomb was invented and it was buy a chemist, and in 1905 this man came to the states and had a chemistry store downtown where the Russian Jews resided. Great story

Oh silly me, sometimes I forget why I am here, let me answer the question for you all. This is total bullshit 100 %. Take AT&T and FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, I think GOOGLE, when you sign there contracts ( read the fine print) you give them the right to use your info however they see fit. Now what does that mean? Well you could say your fucked but ya wanted that new I phone or that new RIM blackberry with all the technology comes a price. Imagine every phone has a GPS., so you say, well imagine your provider can track you and see everywhere you go and a mkt team can review your schedule and provide you with sales pitches of the things you like because these are the places you have been. I as a mkt guy just hit a home run, I know all about you from your phone where you go and what you eat and drink. It’s not all bad. We have not addressed the way to make money knowing this. I can show you how and its not done yet. I want nothing. But the info is available

There’s no need to be angry at your politician or political parties. This is the corporations with the predator lobbyists that are doing this. As soon as a freshman senator arrives he is blown over with predator lobby people to get him or her on there side. Tis is when you the voter get fucked. The lobby buys the guy thru manipulation. It is smooth being softly led down the hall given some gifts and a few favors and then the hammer falls. There bought there owned by someone else and you mean nothing yep it’s scary but its the truth. there are things we can do but it will be a major overhaul. It will cost a fortune because they I have a fortune.

Now I regret every second that I canvassed and called for Obama.  There’s an expectation that the campaign will know your opinions, that they likely will be shared with the party at large, but there is no reasonable expectation that what you say will be shared with EVERYBODY.  To assume that is to tread on the border of clinical paranoia.  Once this gets out to the larger media, as it no doubt will, it will probably put a damper on volunteers showing up to knock on doors and call, and definitely on people to answer those questions.  I know I won’t do either after reading this.

She will we understand our work for all these politicians only gives them higher exposure. Do our votes counts? If they did why do we have an electoral college. Those are the votes that win. The public vote means nothing. You can lose the public people vote and still win. If you want to volunteer do it for a cause that makes a difference, politics is not your venue

truly fun reading on these posts! Only those living off the grid, possibly in a cave with no utilities, might be free from being targeted as a prospective consumer or supporter. Our digital age has made the process so rapid and “interesting” in the past few years I finally gave up trying to preserve any semblance of privacy and have resorted to blockading my home against intruders. The cost is “call blocking”, recycling the waste that comes to my mail box, and checking to see who’s on the other side of the door before I open it. I’ve learned to laugh at the online ads which target those in my age group, especially the remedies for thinning hair and face lift miracles. My mail box gifts me with ads for funeral companies, cruise opportunities, and hearing aids.

Since the accumulation of data is expanding at such a huge rate, I feel a sense of anonymity returning - like hiding in a huge crowd of discrete groups which are themselves growing so large nobody can ever really find any of us as individuals.

Carolyn, so nicely said and it just brings a little tear to my eye that I think I have found someone with a bit of common sense in this landscape of political snipers

Carolyn, I’m blind and thhese people keep sending me ads for auto insurance which immediately go in circular file.  while I have got to the point where I could care less about what “they” know or don’t know about me, I still have those common privacy concerns that everyone else has.

Don’t be so quick to use your broad brush to paint every State Democratic Party the same.
I have heard from the Democratic Party Of Oregon that they will not sell voter info to credit card companies. Call your state party and ask them about this issue, and tell them where you stand. Volunteer to help them fund raise so they don’t have to sell voter info. Become an active member of your party and have an actual impact on policy and politics in your county or state.

Glen…don’t be so quick to NOT paint the Oregon Dems with a broad brush.
So they’re not selling voter info…that’s nice…but they very quickly pushed through a massive tax plan to benefit (especially) Nike and every other multi-state, multi-national corporation in the state.
Who makes up the difference in tax payments?...well, we know who, don’t we…it’s all the rest of us in Oregon.
Kitz and the rest bowed to the almighty Nike, just as they’ve bowed to big business many times. So the DPO won’t sell data…big deal, they’ve already sold us out.

We were compromised when big business took all there companies off shore. There is a storm coming but you want privacy? Would privacy prevent identity theft? No, I just steal your mail. I am required to show my social security card in New York State to get a drivers license. I wonder how many people see this? But you want privacy? I wanna fly, I must show my passport for international flights, it’s cross checked with a data bank here but when I get to where I am going the foreign country they scan it now another country has all the info about me in there computer system. But. You want privacy.
Listen we are a SUPER POWER but our grid is 3rd world. Welcome to AMERICA.

This is a good way to encourage people not to register to vote, not to donate to political campaigns and causes, and not to participate in our government.

Sorry you feel that way Mr Mertz, I don’t mean to scare or use tactics that create doom and gloom but this is the landscape out there and you just happen to enter into a interesting narrative.
If your response is the way you feel fine. Would you kindly show us how you would bolster the situation that we have been speaking about. Tell me what you would do, how do you see it thru your eyes?

I think one way to bolster the situation is to tell the Dems and Repub’s as well, that if you want to survey me that I want proof in writing that my responses will not be for any other use other than what I am told it will be at the time of the survey.  No proof, no survey.  If enough people will do this, in very short order there will be no talk of selling that survey info to anyone.  Problem is getting people to realize what is being done and getting them to refuse survey request’s until proof in very plain writing tells them that this info will not be sold too third parties.  It’s time to take back our privacy and rights!

Way back in this conversation I mentioned

PATRIOT ACT

if you don’t know what that is why are you wasting time talking about democrats and republicans?
There are the problem and the solution
The solution being “Repeal” the PATRIOT ACT

Only them will it make sense to got after all the morons you speak of

Mr Scott, kindly look back just a few posts ago between Mertz and Pidgeon,

I challenge you to get those organizations to sign your release

P. J. By myself the point you are making is a very valid one.  But if one million or so of the American demand that release or they don’t contribute or give any information whatsoever then you’d better bet that either party would take notice pretty quickly.

Seems to me the match is over, there will be a cut next months of a 1000 secret service workers.
Panetta Is asking please don’t cut this or that. We are up shits creek and we ain’t got a paddle. Imagine some 34,000 civilians will lose jobs, they worked for the navy military and that’s just the navy for beginners. We will be having only 1 ship in the gulf. The other day a American vessel was played with by the Chinese, it surfaced 300 feet from a air carrier. We had no idea it was even under the carrier. Germany and Japan have a safer grid than we do. You know as I look back over the years to the turn of the centuries. 1900 and on, we have been thru numerous skirmishes but we were never attacked, bombed like other countries experienced. These morons inside the beltway have no clue what they are doing and I just wonder have they have considered what they would do if we were bombed? Unfortunate and I never thought or I would think nor write this but maybe for this country to set or be reset it needs to experience something it has never. 
This is something I have never seen in my life. You can vet your ass the gun issue is out the window with the bath water. Imagine a government that will not protect its people but want us to give up our firearms?

P. J. How do you know all this?  When I was in service, confrontations like that, especially so soon as you say this one happened are generally Top Secret.  Futhermore, I don’t think that this gov’t would be advertising 1,000 Secret Service cuts.  As for the supposed civillian cuts to the Dept. of Navy well, I can’t say for sure on that, but, hey, wasn’t this supposed to be a discussion on the Dem Party selling survey info to private companies?  Must have missed something between the end of the article and here.

Nope, I am not releasing any confidential info. This info all started to surfaced last evening here in the states but as I look around now it seems its disappeared. I don’t make up numbers nor do I fabricate what I know at least my slant is valid. You may see it another way but that’s the way it is.
On the other hand the press or media in this country is suppressed as to what it can say and do, in my opinion.
Many of my info come from English versions of foreign press in other countries. Listen, recall the Iran collapse of there system a few years back? Stuxnet was the culprit. I penned a article about stuxnet, what it is , who made it , where it was made and how it works. I attributed all my sources and there was no one opinion made except the last sentence and even that did not effect the integrity of the story. Nobody would touch it. It went to all major news organizations. They all questioned who was I, where is your degree from? Your background etc etc etc. They could not see the validity of what was written. It finally got published by World Security Network. Go to there site and look up topics and check out CYBER, you will see 2 stories I penned, I have one other that got bought by PLAYBOY for $10,000 last year they gave it back to me but I got to keep the monies. It’s fickle this world. Just remember everything you see is no the way it appears. Do this unsealedbooks.com and look for published articles

Kevan, just google 34,000 civilians laid off from military something like that

Sub deal nope disappeared, that is very bad and do we lose face?
When a journalist is embedded with a stick in any country with war , all the writings that that reporter has seen and witnessed is all screened before he can send it. He signs agreements with allowance for censorship. Did you know FDR censored severely the press during WW11?

ELois P. Clayton

Feb. 20, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

My thoughts are, BYER, BEWARE, for information of personal magnitude, is constantly investigated by our REAL F.B.I. and it makes I EXTREMELY proud, when they put a GOTCHA, on these thieves!
  Identity thief, is constantly being monitored and the REAL F.B.I., don’t care WHO the shoe fits and quite frankly, neither do I!
  GO, rockum F.B.I.!

I don’t believe the FBI considers identity theft a high priority. I use to know how many were in the division that handled this but compared to what is going on in just our country it’s at the bottom of the pile. A friend of mine got compromised and she on her own found out who stole all her identity and got the home address and work location and went to the local police and they reluctantly took her infot and said they would get back to her. That was 4 yrs ago. Go figure.

The sequestration will happen and when it does I think 1500 in the bureau will be furlowed.