When you type American Community Survey - Just Say No into Bing, you get two really good blogs to peruse.
The best one is this one:
Truth Is Treason.Net - How to legally refuse to participate in the census survey
Another one to check out is this:
No To ACS Blog
Near the end of the post at the first link (Truth is Treason.net) there is a letter that you can print out and send (along with your blank survey if you still have it) which will legally allow you to refuse to participate in the survey. Here is a copy:
To Whom it May Concern,
Pursuant to Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, the only information you are empowered to request is the total number of occupants at this address. My “name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, telephone number, relationship and housing tenure” have absolutely nothing to do with apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. Therefore, neither Congress nor the Census Bureau have the constitutional authority to make that information request a component of the enumeration outlined in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. In addition, I cannot be subject to a fine for basing my conduct on the Constitution because that document trumps laws passed by Congress.
Interstate Commerce Commission v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 479 (May 26, 1894)
“Neither branch of the legislative department [House of Representatives or Senate], still less any merely administrative body [such as the Census Bureau], established by congress, possesses, or can be invested with, a general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190. We said in Boyd v. U.S., 116 U. S. 616, 630, 6 Sup. Ct. 524,―and it cannot be too often repeated,―that the principles that embody the essence of constitutional liberty and security forbid all invasions on the part of government and it’s employees of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of his life. As said by Mr. Justice Field in Re Pacific Ry. Commission, 32 Fed. 241, 250, ‘of all the rights of the citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security, and that involves, not merely protection of his person from assault, but exemption of his private affairs, books, and papers from inspection and scrutiny of others. Without the enjoyment of this right, all others would lose half their value.’”
Note: This United States Supreme Court case has never been overturned.
A Citizen of the United States of America
You might want to read through the entire post at the link above, but here is the pertinent information as it applies to the American Community Survey:
The American Community Survey
As stated above, the Census Bureau will be using the American Community Survey to extract personal data that it previously received on the old long form. Once again, this information will have absolutely nothing to with apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives.
Authority for the Census and the American Community Survey
On their web-site, the Census Bureau claims the American people are “required by law” to provide the information requested on either form and our response is “mandatory.”
For the Census, they cite the provision of the Constitution referenced above as their authority to request the information.
For the American Community Survey, they cite Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Sections 141 and 193 as their authority to request the information.Section 141 (d) states, in part: …the Secretary, in the year 1985 and every 10 years thereafter, shall conduct a mid-decade census of population in such form and content as he may determine…
Section 141 (e) (2) states: Information obtained in any mid-decade census shall not be used for apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States, nor shall such information be used in prescribing congressional districts.
Section 141 (g) As used in this section, “census of population” means a census of population, housing, and matters relating to population and housing.
Section 193 states: In advance of, in conjunction with, or after the taking of each census provided for by this chapter, the Secretary may make surveys and collect such preliminary and supplementary statistics related to the main topic of the census as are necessary to the initiation, taking, or completion thereof.
The first thing reader should note is the difference between the statement of authority for the 2 surveys. The Census falls under the Constitution while the American Community Survey is merely based on a statute passed by Congress.
The second thing the reader should note concerning section 141 is the reference to a mid-decade census of population. There is no constitutional authority for mid-decade census. See again Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution.
The third thing the reader should note concerning section 141 is the statement that the information obtained from the mid-decade census cannot be used for the constitutional purpose of the actual Census.
The fourth thing the reader should note concerning section 141 is the statement that the mid-decade census is being used for housing, and matters relating to population and housing. Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 does not contain a grant of power concerning these subjects.
This takes us to the other section cited as the authority for the American Community Survey. Section 193 restricts census surveys and the collection of preliminary and supplementary statistics…to the main topic of the census…necessary to the initiation, taking, or completion thereof. Constitutionally, the only topic of a census is a head count for apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 does not contain a grant of power for any other census. The other ones referenced in section 193 fail to meet the constitutional topic of the only census enumerated in the Constitution.
Note: See again the first 2 constitutional principles discussed at the beginning of this article and then apply them to the American Community Survey.
Penalty Provisions for Failure to Comply with Either Survey Request
On their web-site, the Census Bureau states the penalty provision for failing to comply with either survey request is found in Title 13, U.S.C., Section 221.
Pursuant to this section, refusing to provide the requested information or neglecting to complete either survey subjects you to a fine of not more than $100.00. Willfully giving information that is false subjects you to a fine of not more than $500.00.
Then, in what I believe is a blatant attempt to misrepresent federal law and install fear in the hearts and minds of the American people so they will provide the requested information, the Census Bureau included the following statement after their reference to the section 221 penalties referenced above:Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000.
A review of Title 18 shows it is entitled:“CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.”
Section 3559 is entitled: “Sentencing classification of offenses.” Section (a) states: “Classification.—An offense that is not specifically classified by a letter grade in the section defining it, is classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—(9) five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as an infraction.
Section 3571 is entitled: “Sentence of fine. Section (a) states: “A defendant who has been found guilty of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine.” Section (b) states in part: “…an individual who has been found guilty of an offense may be fined not more than the greatest of—(7)for an infraction, not more than $5,000.” This is the only reference to a fine in the amount cited by the Census Bureau that matches the provision in section 3559 above.
The $5,000.00 fine referenced in section 3571 is a post conviction fine that only applies to an individual who has been charged and convicted of a criminal infraction as defined in section 3559. Unless an individual has been charged and convicted of some criminal offense connected to the Census and the crime is classified as an infraction, this $5,000.00 fine does not apply. Thus, their assertion that these sections changed the fines in section 221 to $5,000.00 is…you fill in the blank. In my mind, it’s a blatant lie that borders on fraud.
Another website to read:
Technology & MSG - American Community Survey Makes Me Uncomfortable
The original post was created in 2007, but take note of these brief updates:
05/14/08 - There have been quite a few visitors lately, referred here both by other web sites and by Google. So here’s an update. I haven’t heard anything from the Census Bureau about my failure to participate in the American Community Survey. I have received no further correspondence. I have not been contacted. I have not been fined. The threats of fines and jail time appear to be just that… idle threats.
03/13/10 - Still nothing.
Truth Is Treason.Net
No To ACS Blog
Technology & MSG Blog
Update @ 4:50 p.m. PT:
Another website to read about this issue:
Nolan Chart - Invasion of Privacy: The American Community Survey
Second, the Fourth Amendment guarantees my right to be secure .The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
To gather all of the information below, they would have to invade my home, and search my documents for this data. I contend the information requested is my property and the US Government has no valid claim upon it.
My answers to this survey are not private forever, as in 72 years they are released to the public. None of the questions beyond how many people live at my address would seem to apply to fire stations, libraries, or schools, and so, I must confess I will not be answering them.
According to the Washington Post, over 1,100 laptops have been reported missing from the Commerce Department since 2001 including over 250 from the Census Bureau.
Do I really want the answers to the questions below floating around on a laptop that is misplaced or stolen?
Searching the internet, I have discovered I may be in for some harassment as Big Brother attempts to force me to complete this form. I have read reports of Census workers harassing individuals in an attempt to get them to complete the survey. For some interesting stories check out this link.
You will read some interesting stories about what will be done to collect the data.
Lots of links to read here:
CheckPoint USA.org: The U.S. Census Bureau's
American Community Survey (scratch that) Interrogation