Government turns to data mining
Data mining for the Federal Government is booming business. Federal Agencies are hiring private data mining companies in ever increasing numbers. Yes Virginia! Even the Fed hires Private-I firms.
They are buying data from the private sector which would normally be difficult for the government to compile themselves, such as consumer habits. Ironically, you would think the Federal Government would be able to dig up this information on their own.
There are certainly law enforcement reasons for digging up this data. Somebody who mail orders large amounts of chemicals, might be operating a Meth lab, or somebody who buys bomb-making materials might be a terrorist. Unusually large electric bills are often a red flag that somebody may be running a large-scale indoor Marijuana cultivation.