New Democrat Database Raises Privacy Concerns
Scrappleface | March 8, 2006
By Scott Ott
In the wake of the NSA eavesdropping scandal and the Dubai Ports deal that threatened to cut short President George Bush’s second term, the Washington Post revealed today that a former Clinton Administration political operative and a foreign-born global financier have teamed up in a for-profit venture to build an unprecedented comprehensive database of American Democrats.
President Bill Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, Harold Ickes, has already raised $7.5 million to start the venture, Data Warehouse, with major funding from Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros.
The formerly-clandestine firm has already sparked serious questions about privacy, political profiling and “the obvious ethical issues that should come up any time a business aims to make a profit in this country,” according to an unnamed spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Mr. Ickes, an advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, admitted that Data Warehouse would gather detailed personal information on Democrats nationwide, but he denied accusations that the project constitutes an invasion of privacy.
“This new massive database is strictly a security measure,” Mr. Ickes said. “The Democrat party is under attack, but Howard Dean and the DNC fail to grasp that we no longer control our destiny. If we don’t change our tactics Democrat candidates will continue to face devastation at the polls. Dean needs to wake up and realize that we live in a post-Newt Gingrich world.”
Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, the presumptive 2008 Democrat presidential runner-up, called for Congressional hearings to probe Data Warehouse.
“We must determine whether personal information will be used to tap into American phone lines without a court order,” said Sen. Kerry. “Congress cannot allow our citizens to be targeted based on their political beliefs, and subjected to invasions of privacy at dinnertime.”
Last modified March 8, 2006