Census 2000 Said Legally Invalid
From NewsHawk Inc. <>

The "consensus" is growing--Census 2000 as currently being conducted is certainly being done in violation of the law; and this actually has nothing to do with those offensively intrusive questions imposed by the current census. Different versions of the census have a varying number of questions.
No: this census may well be legally COMPLETELY INVALID because specific notices and forms which federal law mandates MUST be included in every census form (or similar type of information-gathering document/procedure), as pursuant to the 1974 Privacy Act, have in fact NOT been included in the census packages which U.S. residents have been told they are required by law to respond to.
Not only does this invalidate the current census but it leaves the federal government open to billions of dollars in damages and liabilities from lawsuits which can be filed by those who have already responded to the census without the required Privacy Act notification.
The Privacy Act makes specific provisions for legal remedies on the part of those adversely affected in any way by the FAILURE of an agency to provide such notifications.
There could well be MASSIVE class-action lawsuits against the federal government looming here, not to mention untold millions of dollars wasted in implementing this clearly fatally flawed Census 2000.
Un-freaking-beLIEVable! yet true.
Well, all the more reason to follow our suggestion and toss that Census 2000 form into the recycling bin. OR, maybe return it to the Census Bureau, postage COLLECT: saying not only are you NOT responding to the census but are considering legal action due to the Bureau's FAILURE to inform you of their authorization, your rights, etc., as pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 (codified in 5USC552a(e)(3)).
NewsHawk® Inc. _____
Subject: Illegal Census Forms - News Tip Date: 20 Mar 2000 19:00:03 -0000 From: lcs Mixmaster Remailer < To:
Many persons are concerned about the conduct of the 2000 census. Some of them are willing to risk fines for refusing to provide the requested information. As it turns out, the Census Bureau itself is violating federal law which may lead to an invalidation of the census and the possibility of a huge governmental liability.
The envelope which the Census Bureau is using to transmit the forms for the 2000 census displays a printed admonition that a "response is required by law."
A census form (for example, Form D-1, "OMB No. 0607-0856: Approval Expires 12/31/2000") and a form note (D-16A(L)) from Kenneth Prewitt (Census Bureau director) dated March 13, 2000, are contained in the envelope.
While the census form includes a statement required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, neither the form itself nor the note which accompanies it provides the information which is required by the Privacy Act of 1974 (codified in 5USC552a(e)(3)).
(Section 552a, Title 5, United States Code, states, in part: "(e) Agency Requirements.--Each agency that maintains a system of records shall-- (3) inform each individual whom it asks to supply information, on the form which it uses to collect the information or on a separate form that can be retained by the individual-- (A) the authority (whether granted by statute, or by executive order of the President) which authorizes the solicitation of the information and whether disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary; (B) the principal purpose or purposes for which the information is intended to be used; (C) the routine uses which may be made of the information, as published pursuant to paragraph (4)(D) of this subsection; and (D) the effects on him, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information.")
(Subsection (g) states, in part: "(1) Civil Remedies.--Whenever any agency ... (D) fails to comply with any other provision of this section, or any rule promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse effect on an individual, the individual may bring a civil action against the agency, and the district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction in the matters under the provisions of this subsection." ... "(4) In any suit brought under the provisions of subsection (g)(1)(C) or (D) of this section in which the court determines that the agency acted in a manner which was intentional or willful, the United States shall be liable to the individual in an amount equal to the sum of-- (A) actual damages sustained by the individual as a result of the refusal or failure, but in no case shall a person entitled to recovery receive less than the sum of $1,000; and (B) the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court."
(For purposes of Section 552a, the following definitions apply: "(3) the term 'maintain' includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate; (4) the term 'record' means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph; (5) the term 'system of records' means a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual; (6) the term 'statistical record' means a record in a system of records maintained for statistical research or reporting purposes only and not used in whole or in part in making any determination about an identifiable individual, except as provided by section 8 of title 13.")
Normally, federal agencies routinely provide the information required by 5USC552a(e)(3) when requesting persons to provide personal information. (Examples can be found on tax form instructions, passport applications, and requests for public assistance.) Assuming that it is as competent and knowledgeable as other agencies, the Census Bureau apparently made a willful, intentional decision not to provide the required information -- a clear violation of federal law. Illegally requiring persons to provide private information to a federal government agency, when that agency by its very action violates federal law enacted to regulate the government's collection of such information and protect the rights of the people, creates an obvious "adverse effect" on individuals and their privacy.
Accordingly, if the current census form remains in use, the federal government could be liable for massive lawsuits with a minimum damage of $1,000 for each person affected -- potentially millions of persons, billions of dollars (5USC552a(g)(4)(A)). In any event, since persons are not required to comply with an illegal request by a government agency, the 2000 census, as currently being conducted, is likely invalid.
To correct this situation and allow a legal census to be conducted, the Census Bureau must temporarily halt the census until it comes into compliance with the federal Privacy Act. As a minimum, before it continues the census, the bureau must provide all persons with the information which is required by 5USC552a (paragraph (e)(3)), and afford them an opportunity to retract any personal information which they may have given to the Census Bureau prior to receiving the necessary Privacy Act notification.
(N.B. Efforts to confirm that the 1990 census forms contained the required Privacy Act information have been unsuccessful.)


This Site Served by TheHostPros