Doesn't Trust U.S. Census

RECEIVED Mon., April 9, 2012

Dear Editor,
    The U.S. census is taken every 10 years, the last in 2010. I got a long form from them last month. A friend who worked for the Census Bureau in 2005 informed me that Austin is a test market area and random people are selected every month of every year. The third time they called me on the phone, the man said he had "15 minutes" of questions for me. I told him that according to the U.S. Constitution, all they needed was a head count.
    I have received letters and calls from them telling me that according to Title 13 of the U.S. Code, I must answer. I no longer answer the phone. I know the Founding Fathers of our country would never have agreed to this. My civil disobedience is an act of conscience.
    My ex-U.S. census worker friend tells me they will arrest me for not answering the personal questions on the U.S. census form. They already had my address and phone number. I told them one person lives here.
    Hopefully they won't arrest me, but I cannot cooperate with such an invasion of my privacy. The U.S. Constitution grants me privacy. They are trying to get me to comply from fear of arrest.
    I would like to know what Austin Chronicle readers have to say. The U.S. Census Bureau keeps telling me all information I give them will remain confidential. Oh, really? They used the census data in the 1940s to round up Japanese for internment camps – and back then, they claimed it was confidential, too. Maybe now they would share it with corporations. Or FEMA. Or who knows. I don't trust them.
Michele Deradune
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