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Who says the era of big government is over? In December, the Federal Register reported that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has proposed a regulation to require virtually every bank in the country to "develop a program designed to determine the identity of its customers, determine its customers' sources of funds, determine the normal and expected transactions of its customers, monitor account activity for transactions that are inconsistent . . . and report any transactions . . . determined to be suspicious."

In other words, if a person sells a boat or car and deposits the money in his bank account, he might have the pleasure of a visit from curious government officials who feel they have the right to know about his private affairs.

So far this is only a proposal. The public has until March 8 to comment. Our Founding Fathers knew that the price of individual liberty was eternal vigilance. That vigilance obviously cannot be reserved for an external enemy only.

Anyone who values America's classic libertarian ideals, with free individuals being able to peaceably go about their lives, should be terrified at the thought of these unelected bureaucrats so casually proposing to force private banks to spy upon their customers for the government.

John Swanson East Amherst

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