As ObamaCare continues to eat away at the private American healthcare system that the rest of the world once envied, the federal government now has a hand in virtually all aspects of the medical industry.
The intrusion is well-documented and is not limited to any particular federal agency.
Among the most recent developments is the Environmental Protection Agency’s promise to scour social media posts for clues about potential outbreaks of disease. Apparently taking a page out of the NSA’s playbook, the EPA announced last week that it is seeking a contractor capable of scanning millions of Twitter posts for users posting specific symptoms.
According to reports, the agency is interested in tracking cases of acute gastroenteritis infections – or AGI – to determine where the disorder is most prevalent. In a public notice, the EPA offered a number of “search terms” for the prospective contractor to look for, including “[s]tomach flu, stomach bug, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.”
The apparent mission involves comparing results from Twitter with studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. Of course, the social media site is known to be the home of countless saboteurs and wiseacres who could easily skew results, thus invalidating any of the contractors’ findings.
Nonetheless, the EPA appears anxious to begin the project. Considering the emphasis on influenza, this could be an effort to further indoctrinate Americans with the ostensible benefits of the flu vaccine.
In any case, it is another step toward a society in which no information – especially personal health data – is immune from government snooping. Obviously, those posting their symptoms to Twitter have no expectation of privacy; however, it is doubtful many expect to have those posts dissected by federal contractors.
The incremental attack on privacy in the U.S. has increased in speed and severity throughout the Obama administration. As he implements his plan to bypass Congress whenever it suits him, the problems associated with an invasive government bureaucracy are sure to become more pronounced.
–B. Christopher Agee
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