Thursday, January 29, 2009

AGAIN wit' da Gummit


In today's mail, I got another one of the goofy-ass "American Community Survey" thingies from the U.S. Census - despite the fact that I have tried to let them know that I didn't have any interest in providing them with anything, which didn't work particularly well.

Carefully reading the "We're from the Government, we're here to help" bullshit accompanying the survey, and doing a little checking, I find that there are, in fact, penalties for not participating:

From 13 USC {that's Title 13 of the United States Code, for those of you that might be less than familiar with lawyer-speak), courtesy of Cornell University Law :

§ 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers

(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.
Loverly, innit?

I certainly don't want to break the law by refusing to comply mit Das Direktive (I gave them my name, the date, my phone #, and that it's just me, just like they asked on the very front of it), and I'd never dream of outright lying to them. I guess the only option they leave open to me is to respectfully decline to provide anything, in accordance to (c).

If they think I'm bullshitting, they're certainly welcome to PROVE it -- if they can.

Gee, so sorry...


Bob said...

Sounds reasonable. How do they know that your answering all those other questions wouldn't reveal your religious beliefs or affiliation -- unless, of course, they ask what that religion is.

Dave said...

Oh, did I forget to mention? God, his own bad self, told me.