The Snitch Society & The Surveillance State

The surveillance state has long been one reason for paranoid souls to always worry about when the government is watching them and what they’re doing. They’ve got money and technology, and the rumors that they can read email and phone calls have been going for years. It’s unclear how true those rumors may be, but there is at least a sense of understanding that the government probably isn’t big enough to actually keep an eye on all those communications.

So that’s why they have to deputize snitches to rat you out if you stray outside the lines. From Operation TIPS, to DARE officers encouraging children to rat on their parents for drugs, and actually giving 5th-graders little books on how to snitch on their neighbors for zoning violations. The government is not only trying to make sure that adults are willing to snitch on fellow citizens, they’re actively advocating for this to our children.

Now the IRS has expanded it’s whistleblowing snitching program by offering bigger rewards to those who snitch on tax “cheats” [Hat Tip: autoDogmatic]:

Under a newly amended rule from the Internal Revenue Service, ordinary citizens can help the tax man cometh, or at least collect. The new Whistleblower Office is the IRS’s attempt to give incentives for you to rat out the tax cheats you know.

That’s right. If your employer, co-worker, landlord, neighbor or father-in-law is raking in fistfuls of cash and bypassing Uncle Sam, you can anonymously report the abuse to the IRS and snag a windfall from their dishonesty.

As long as the total amount of tax fraud comes out to at least $2 million (including penalties, interest, and whatever else the government ultimately collects based on your report), you can get a 15 to 30 percent cut.

You got that? If you know of someone that is cheating on their taxes, and you report them, you can pull a nice big chunk of change.

Understand how insidious this is. It is bad enough that you cannot trust your government to protect your rights, and you can generally count on them to violate them. The government is now working to make sure you can’t trust your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors either.

While things like California Whistleblower Law exists to protect people speaking out against corruption within their companies, this is just purely an attempt to create fear, and by doing so, extend the government’s reach into your behavior. I choose to follow laws which I believe to be legitimate or laws which, though illegitimate, cannot be broken without being caught. When I live under the assumption that everyone is watching me, though, I cannot even break illegitimate laws.

What will happen when someone in an area of restrictive gun laws owns an illegal firearm to protect his family, and his shady brother-in-law rats him out to get the feds to overlook the illegal home poker game he’s running? What about the child with a grandmother like Angel Raich, who is illegally using medical marijuana, who reports this to the school principal because she’s been brainwashed by the public schools into thinking her grandmother is doing something wrong? What would happen if one of my neighbors decided to rat me out to the Georgia excise authorities for homebrewing more than the allowed 50 gallons of beer per year?

Is this a society in which we want to live?