Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

Comments Policy: I'm not moderating comments, so keep it sane and go away with the spam. Government officials please read disclaimer at bottom of page.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Privacy - Tax Authorities Can Only Be Mining Social Media for Thought Crimes.

Civilisation is a movement toward privacy, an Orwellian surveillance state the opposite, and tax legislation, especially tax administration, has become the legislation and administration of surveillance and authoritarian rule.


Put aside the farce of New Zealand’s GCSB government spooks now being given the go-ahead to legally spy on those whom they’ve previously been spying on illegally; instead, in the first instance – though not yet the point of this post - be as concerned about the privacy busting powers these spooks have. Quoting the ministry newspeak:

ICT Minister Amy Adams has just released a statement outlining how the government plans to "modernise" the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004

Under the proposed changes, network operators such as phone companies and ISPs "will be obliged [newspeak alert] to engage [newspeak alert] with the Government through the GCSB on network security, where it might affect New Zealand’s national security and economic well-being."

Ms Adams says telecommunications providers are already required to have interception technology in place, to assist police and security agency investigations, under current legislation. The update was designed to make the process easier [newspeak alert].

Amy, I don’t want it made easier for the state to share information on individuals, especially our incompetent spooks who've been proven remiss in even knowledge of their own governing legislation. And really, what can’t be justified under ‘economic well-being’? Going after tax evaders, or even those thought to be avoiders? Does this add to the considerable police state powers IRD already have, recourse to New Zealand’s other branches of secret police: GCSB and SIS?

For frankly, the GCSB and SIS are small fry in terms of an individual’s privacy, or rather, lack of. As I have stated before the taxing authorities throughout the West, including New Zealand, are what have made the quaint notion of the Free West nothing more than an historical artifact anymore: always, tax is where the truncheon of the police state, meets your backside, and the age of the Internet, the age of social media, is the age of state surveillance of every aspect of your life by the IR’s: the end of your privacy from the state in total, the end of any chance you once had of being left alone, so long as you hurt no one else.

I’m working up to linking and looking at the most nightmarish piece of government newspeak you will read in 2013, on the data mining operations of the taxing authorities, existing and proposed, though first, the acknowledgement that in a sense nothing has changed. IRD auditors were always mining the ‘old’ social media: those boards at the supermarkets, or small town shops where you could pin your business card – lawn mowing, garden services, et al; auditors’ would and still do, routinely note the details, phones numbers, names, addresses to follow up on; and on any public holiday auditors are in the holiday spots writing down the details of sign written company vehicles to ensure FBT compliance. However, that said, though nothing has changed, with the Internet, and individuals living their private lives online, everything has changed, and it’s frightening, for there are now few aspects of our private lives that aren’t being mined, annotated, classified and stored for the use of the state anymore.

If you want to take a walk on the wild side of police-statehood, hold onto your private parts and read this article about the United Police States taxing authority – and you can bet their bots will be alerting them to this article: IRS High-Tech Tools Track Your Digital Footprints. Quoting below those bits that make the state apparatus in Orwell’s 1984 look childishly unsophisticated – note I’m quoting extensively because it’s so damned important we wake up to the pot of the surveillance state starting to boil furiously around us:

The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year--it's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers' digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it's never gone before.

The IRS, under heavy pressure to help Washington out of its budget quagmire by chasing down an estimated $300 billion in revenue lost to evasions and errors each year, will start using "robo-audits" of tax forms and third-party data the IRS hopes will help close this so-called "tax gap." But the agency reveals little about how it will employ its vast, new network scanning powers.

Tax lawyers and watchdogs are concerned about the sweeping changes being implemented with little public discussion or clear guidelines, and Congressional staff sources say the IRS use of "big data" will be a key issue when the next IRS chief comes to the Senate for approval.


"It's well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use," says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yale Law School. "I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information on databases in government, and those concerns are well-taken. It's appropriate to watch it carefully. There should be safeguards." He adds that taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.

Consumers are already familiar with Internet "cookies" that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking--but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don't see.

"Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are," boasted Dean Silverman, the agency's high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.

If you think it’s bad to here, well here’s the killer bit – as in killing freedom:

The agency declined to comment on how it will use its new technology. But agency officials have been outlining plans at industry conferences, working with IBM, EMC and other private-sector specialists. In presentations, officials have said they may use the big data for:

-- Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook

-- Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments

-- Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns

-- Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique "attributes"

-- Machine learning across "neural" networks

-- Statistical and agent-based modelling

-- Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers

If someone wants to tell me what ‘machine learning across neural networks’ means, in this context, I’m both fascinated and probably horrified at the same time. And there's only one reason to mine data from social media ... well figure it out: they're looking for thought crimes. We have entered Orwell's nightmare.

Those not alarmed at the above, already are lost to the cause of trying to free the west, again: you would have to have the mind of the slave.

And just because this piece was about the IRS, don’t think for a minute New Zealand’s IRD aren’t that far behind: I know everything I write on this blog will be read, noted, annotated, stored. Because IRD are data mining all the time:

They have mined Waikato University’s benchmarking database, and using it in audits: for example they know from the data the average margin a house-painter could expect to earn on a litre of paint, and so house-painters not earning this margin will have to explain themselves in audits. This information is given to Waikato University voluntarily, the repayment being benchmarks back for the contributor's to improve their businesses by: no business contributing their data would have envisaged this state capture and use of the data to their own extreme inconvenience. I know IRD have mined this database, because in a compliance meeting in Christchurch over 2009, their head of compliance had a smile on his dial that made my stomach turn, as he told a room of private enterprise tax practitioners this, and how he, quote, 'loved using private sector assets against the private sector'. It was in that meeting I finally realised how vicious the bureaucracy was in their war against our freedom. I've never been back to their annual compliance meetings; they remind me how far we are from the voluntary, free society, and it's just too damned depressing.

Or, on any day pop over to NBR’s site, scroll down to the box in the right hand menu called ‘Most Active; NBR Online Business Subscribers’: the business/departments in that box have purchased corporate subscriptions so all their staff may read behind the pay-wall content; during working hours on a week day, the Inland Revenue Department will always be in top ten, and most normally the number one active reader of the site. Though of course they’re not reading the free press; they’re mining it, and especially mining the comments. So, as in any police state, you better be mindful of what you say: you don't live in a free country anymore.

There’s nothing civilised, nothing free, about life in the West anymore, we’re the full blown police state now: your privacy, your right to be left alone, has been sacrificed on the bloodied altar of the common good, and every part of your life is being examined, noted, stored, by and into the bureaucracy.

Civilised society? … No.

Orwellian police state … Yes.

And in general, we’re just too stupid to understand. But here’s the thing: don’t mess with your taxes, and I mean that; don’t tarry with the system, even though you have no ideological agreement with it for you’ve figured out how fast is travelling this hand cart down the road to our serfdom we are on: if you mess with it, you will be destroyed. Just try and gain some brief enjoyment from the scenery, and drink lots of wine – that’s what I do. (Though no cannabis or anything harmless in that vein: they’ll lock you up for that, also).

Update 1:

To the member/s of the Inland Revenue Department – Te Tare Taake (IP address who/m read this blog post on the IR’s scanning of social media at 9.46am this morning, 24 April, 2013, I would be fascinated in your comment/s please?

Particularly, your purpose in being here? Either you’re wasting your employer’s time, or you are looking for thought crimes? So where did you go from here? What were your actions?

As always, I refer you to my disclaimer at the bottom of the page: scroll down and make sure you’ve read it please.

But really: the ‘why’ of your visit: in comments please … we free individuals going about our business harming no one have a definite right to know.


  1. Mark

    A totally outrageous post; mining comments? Unimaginable.

    Kind regards

    1. Agreed Brendan. I've changed the name to reflect they can only be mining social media for thought crimes (Orwell): what else?

  2. Actually I was being somewhat tounge in cheek with my comments. I agree with you. Furthermore, I suspect we might be categorised as being 'culturally unsafe' in an environment that has ceased to value freedom of speech (and thought) and replaced it with correct speech (and thought).

    We should be sure to give them sufficient evidence to convict us.

  3. Machine learning across "neural" networks ... is Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this context, it is the Beast of Revelation 13, without whose stamp (mark) of approval none may do commerce.