Obama to allow u.s. spy agencies access to americans accounts

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Max E., Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Max E.

    Max E.

    Im wondering just how far this piece of shit obama has to go before people start to wake the fuck up.

    EXCLUSIVE - U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances

    (Reuters) - The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

    The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.

    Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of "suspicious customer activity," such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database. However, intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, currently have to make case-by-case requests for information to FinCEN.

    The Treasury plan would give spy agencies the ability to analyze more raw financial data than they have ever had before, helping them look for patterns that could reveal attack plots or criminal schemes.

    The planning document, dated March 4, shows that the proposal is still in its early stages of development, and it is not known when implementation might begin.

    Financial institutions file more than 15 million "suspicious activity reports" every year, according to Treasury. Banks, for instance, are required to report all personal cash transactions exceeding $10,000, as well as suspected incidents of money laundering, loan fraud, computer hacking or counterfeiting.

    "For these reports to be of value in detecting money laundering, they must be accessible to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, financial regulators, and the intelligence community," said the Treasury planning document.

    A Treasury spokesperson said U.S. law permits FinCEN to share information with intelligence agencies to help detect and thwart threats to national security, provided they adhere to safeguards outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act. "Law enforcement and intelligence community members with access to this information are bound by these safeguards," the spokesperson said in a statement.

    Some privacy watchdogs expressed concern about the plan when Reuters outlined it to them.

    A move like the FinCEN proposal "raises concerns as to whether people could find their information in a file as a potential terrorist suspect without having the appropriate predicate for that and find themselves potentially falsely accused," said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel for the Rule of Law Program at the Constitution Project, a non-profit watchdog group.

    Despite these concerns, legal experts emphasize that this sharing of data is permissible under U.S. law. Specifically, banks' suspicious activity reporting requirements are dictated by a combination of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act, which offer some privacy safeguards.

    National security experts also maintain that a robust system for sharing criminal, financial and intelligence data among agencies will improve their ability to identify those who plan attacks on the United States.

    "It's a war on money, war on corruption, on politically exposed persons, anti-money laundering, organized crime," said Amit Kumar, who advised the United Nations on Taliban sanctions and is a fellow at the Democratic think tank Center for National Policy.


    The Treasury document outlines a proposal to link the FinCEN database with a computer network used by U.S. defense and law enforcement agencies to share classified information called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

    The plan calls for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - set up after 9/11 to foster greater collaboration among intelligence agencies - to work with Treasury. The Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

    More than 25,000 financial firms - including banks, securities dealers, casinos, and money and wire transfer agencies - routinely file "suspicious activity reports" to FinCEN. The requirements for filing are so strict that banks often over-report, so they cannot be accused of failing to disclose activity that later proves questionable. This over-reporting raises the possibility that the financial details of ordinary citizens could wind up in the hands of spy agencies.

    Stephen Vladeck, a professor at American University's Washington College of Law, said privacy advocates have already been pushing back against the increased data-sharing activities between government agencies that followed the September 11 attacks.

    "One of the real pushes from the civil liberties community has been to move away from collection restrictions on the front end and put more limits on what the government can do once it has the information," he said.

    (Reporting by Emily Flitter in New York, Stella Dawson and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Leslie Gevirtz)
  2. Mav88


    would one dollar trading accounts fall under suspicion? seems like anyone who is doing that is pretending to be a trader and probably running a meth lab at a nursing facility.
  3. Max E.

    Max E.

  4. Mav88


    It is amazing how much hypocrisy liberals tolerate from their own. Transparency, gitmo, promising to solve Iran and N. Korea with smooth talk and they blow up, being a closet power hungry warlord, buddies with wall street, etc.

    During Bush there were howls, now crickets... fucking amazing
  5. Lucrum


  6. pspr


    The level of domestic surveillance in the United States has reached such shocking levels in the post-9/11 world that people will find it hard to fathom, said Laurie Dhue, host of TheBlaze TV’s new investigative series “For the Record.” The show’s first episode, “Surveillance State,” tackles just that in its debut tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

    “I think this is going to open a lot of people’s eyes…people will be absolutely shocked to know that things have gotten even less transparent in the last 10 years — there’s even more surveillance going on than ever before,” Dhue told Beck on his radio show Wednesday.

    The show reveals how the National Security Agency transformed from its stated purpose of foreign intelligence gathering into an arm to listen in on U.S. citizens — all on the taxpayer’s dime.

    “After 9/11 the spigots just opened, money continued to flow in the NSA. The NSA got everything it wanted, and the taxpayers basically just got taken to the cleaners,” Dhue said.

    What information the government collects, they keep — including in a massive Utah facility slated for completion earlier this year, Dhue said.

    “This is all being done in the name of protection, in the name of keeping us safe. But it’s scary stuff when you think about it,” Dhue told Beck.

  7. "My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government." - President Barack Obama, January 2008


    Two years later… March 2010.

    "The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did."



    One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He [Obama]has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

    At present, if the government doesn't want to admit the existence of a document it believes to be exempt from FOIA, it may advise the person making the request that it can neither confirm nor deny the document's existence. Under the proposed regulation, an agency that withholds a document "will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist." This policy is outrageous. It provides a license for the government to lie to its own people and makes a mockery of FOIA. It also would mislead citizens who might file an appeal if they knew there was a possibility that the document they sought was in the possession of a government agency. Such an appeal would allow a court to determine whether the requested document was covered by an exemption in FOIA.

  8. Lucrum


    Just more hypocrisy from our Liar-in-Chief.