Blogs > Liberty and Power > Homeland Security tracking gaming habits?

May 4, 2009 6:05 pm

Homeland Security tracking gaming habits?

L&P Reader Daniel Schmutter shares this scary anecdote about big brother.
"I had an appalling expreince yesterday trying to trade in my daughter's used Nintendo DS games at Gamestop. Trying to trade in Petz Hamsters and Shrek 2 turned into a lesson in just how pervasive the surveillance state has become.

I walked into Gamestop to trade in the two used DS games, and the clerk asked me if I wanted cash or a store credit. When I replied "cash" the clerk asked for my driver's license. When I asked why, he told me that they are technically a pawn shop, and when giving cash for a trade-in they must report the recipient's driver's license number to the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service.

So, I changed my selection to "store credit," whereupon the clerk promptly asked me for my name and telephone number. When I asked why . . . you guessed it . . . he replied that, as a pawn shop, he had to report that information to the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service. He said that they needed to track these things.

Outraged, I replied that they do NOT need to track these things and that they already track way too many things. I told him that it was nobody's business but his and mine that I was selling used video games.

I reminded him that I cannot even buy cold medicine at the drug store without reporting the transaction to the government. (I no longer buy Sudafed. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, he who is willing to give up essential liberty to purchase a little decongestant deserves neither liberty nor decongestant.)

I stormed out of the store Petz Hamsters and Shrek 2 in hand. I doubt the kid even understood the point."

Kudos to Dan for standing up agaisnt surveillance, and thanks again for sharing the story. I have to note that, Ben Franklin's scorn notwithstanding, I do surrender my liberty for properly functioning cold meds. Help, help, I'm being repressed!

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