Members of the House Freedom Caucus issued a letter to President Donald Trump on Friday warning him of Big Brother power grabs that are taking place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are grateful for your leadership and rigorous whole-of-government approach as we face one of the greatest threats in a generation. We continue to pray for those who are suffering and support those who are serving. The challenge is great, but the resolve of the American people is greater,” they wrote to the President. “Outside the National Archives, an etched pillar reads, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” It may seem a peculiar time to recall this counsel, but recent developments gravely threaten the civil liberties of American citizens. We must express our deep concern about these privacy threats.”
They raised awareness of Google’s proposal to release data tracking people’s movement across the world, a heinously invasive move destroying privacy rights.
“As part of their coronavirus response, Google late last week announced it would begin publishing data that tracks the movements of people around the world. By comparing current trends with previous norms, Google attempts to provide government officials with information on which regions are obeying or disobeying social distancing guidelines. The digital trailing is frightfully detailed, specific, and granular. Google’s “Community Mobility Reports” aggregates the movements of people to their local grocery stores, coffee shops, parks, retailers, libraries, pharmacies, transit, workplaces, and homes,” they wrote.
“Google’s colossal stores of data on daily movements of Americans, coupled with the might of local, state, and federal governments is an alarming prospect. We are a people with a limited government charged to secure the rights of its citizens. The civil liberties guaranteed to Americans include preservation of privacy—and that must not be violated,” they added.
Although they understand the grave nature of the coronavirus pandemic, they believe that the assault on our fundamental freedoms may be even more of a dire threat.
“We caution that actions taken to contain spreading of coronavirus must also preserve the right to privacy held by each and every American. Our nation is great because of our dedication to individual liberty, self-government, and freedom for all. In times of crisis, we cannot abandon the very things that make us great,” they wrote.
“We believe that Americans together can meet the challenges posed by coronavirus to public health, the nation’s economy, and the civil liberties of citizens,” they added.
NEWS: @freedomcaucus members warn that privacy matters–even and especially in times of crisis.
— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) April 10, 2020
The letter was signed by Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Chip Roy of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Debbie Lesko of Wisconsin, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Harris of Maryland, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Ken Buck of Colorado, Ron Wright of Texas, Russ Fulcher of Idaho, Jody Hice of Georgia, Mark Green of Tennessee, and Michael Cloud of Texas.