IRS Using AI For Warrantless Surveillance On Americans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the world’s largest collection agency, and it is likely spying on citizens via Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is currently being investigated by two GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY). 

The probe was motivated by video evidence of IRS criminal investigator Alex Mena discussing the new AI system. It analyzes returns, bank statements, and all manner of other personal financial information. Mena boasted in the video that the system is capable of accessing “all the information from all the companies in the world.” 

But most disturbing is a statement that affirms every IRS stereotype that lurks in every American’s nightmares. Mena said in so many words that the IRS has no problem “going after the small people… Like destroying people’s lives.” 

This certainly dispels the notion that this sophisticated technology is used only to target the mega-wealthy. The IRS has pledged not to increase audits for those making under $400K per year. 

The two lawmakers sent letters to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland stating that they believe the IRS is “monitoring American citizens’ bank accounts en masse and without legal process.” 

“The use of AI technology to actively monitor millions of Americans’ private transactions, bank accounts, and related financial information – without any legal process – is highly concerning,” the letter went on to say. 

Mena’s brash statements stated the ”quiet part out loud” — namely that the IRS’s true reason for existence is fear and intimidation more than meaningful revenue recovery. 

The IRS has long been a highly weaponized government agency. Tax audits have been used by those in power against political opponents. Prison sentences for tax evasion are severe and can exceed those for many violent crimes. 

Under President Barack Husein Obama, the IRS was shown to have been blatantly harassing conservative groups who applied for non-profit status. One faith-based group was even asked to produce their prayers as supporting documentation. 

The IRS was formed in 1862 to collect an income tax to raise money for the Civil War. That tax was repealed after the war but reinstated in 1913 by passage of the Sixteenth Amendment. In 1913, the top bracket was only 7%, but that rose to 77% by 1918. It was as high as 91% in 1954 before reaching its current level of 37%. 

The first 1040 form was three pages long and included a single page of instructions. Today’s complexity and confusion provide fertile ground for misery and ample grist for the IRS’s menacing auditing mill. 

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