If you ‘google’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it says, “The IRS is the U.S. government agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement.” Sounds pretty basic to me. Lately of course, there have been some questions about how evenly that responsibility has been handled, but basically, tax collection and tax law enforcement are their responsibility. Sounded pretty harmless–until I read the following story at CNS News.
Yesterday CNS News reported that the IRS is ordering surveillance equipment that includes hidden cameras in coffee trays, plants and clock radios. Why? If all they are interested in is taxes and tax law, why are they going James Bond on us? I know that they are going to be managing ObamaCare, but does that need eavesdropping on Americans?
The article reports:
“The Internal Revenue Service intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation,” reads the solicitation.
“The following descriptions are vague due to the use and nature of the items,” it says.
“If you feel that you can provide the following equipment, please respond to this email no later than 4 days after the solicitation date,” the IRS said.
Among the items the agency will purchase are four “Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment,” and four “Remote surveillance system(s)” with “Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras.”
The IRS also is buying four cameras to hide in plants: “(QTY 4) Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe [Power over Ethernet], software included, case included, router included.
…The original solicitation was only available to private companies for bids for 19 business hours.
The notice was posted at 11:07 a.m. on June 6 and had a deadline of 2:00 p.m. on Monday. Taking a normal 9-to-5 work week, the solicitation was open for bids for six hours on Thursday, eight hours on Friday, and five hours on Monday, for a total of 19 hours.
The response date was changed on Monday, pushed back to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.
The location listed for the solicitation is the IRS’s National Office of Procurement, in Oxon Hill, Md.
“The Procurement Office acquires the products and services required to support the IRS mission,” according to its website.
This gives whole new meaning to the concept of being bugged by the IRS!