This story represents a perfect example of why the government needs to be limited in its power and why our privacy as citizens needs to be protected. Benjamin Robinson, a 40-year old government agent from Oakland, CA within the Department of Commerce, has been charged with illegally accessing a Homeland Security Database in order to stalk his ex-girlfriend and her family. His indictment by a federal grand jury in San Jose this week was in connection with allegations that he accessed the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) over 163 times to track the woman’s movements.
Robinson is being charged with making false claims to a government agency and unlawfully accessing data from a protected computer (seems the computer wasn’t very secure at all). If found guilty, Robinson could face a $500,000 fine and a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
The scariest thing about all of this is that if this individual got caught, imagine all of those who haven’t gotten caught and are spying on us. Everyone kind of expected in the back of their minds that this could happen, and it’s sobering to see it actually happening as perhaps this can actually incite some people to act. The only way to stop government spying on citizens is to limit the power of the government.