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Guest Post: Introducing The Government’s Newest Unpaid Spy: YOU

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Introducing The Government’s Newest Unpaid Spy: YOU

One of the most terrifying aspects of George Orwell’s seminal work 1984 was his description of how society had turned into one giant police agency. People were encouraged to rat each other out, groomed since childhood to be unpaid government spies:

“[Children] adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something…” is not too far off from this paradigm– encouraging citizens to rat each other out to the police for the mere suspicion of potential wrong-doing.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano even made a special appearance at last Sunday’s Super Bowl to get the message out about ‘public vigilance,’ and ensure that the entire city of Indianapolis was blanketed with advertisements from her Big Brother campaign.

DHS Introducing the governments newest unpaid spy: YOU

The IRS has been encouraging this type of behavior for years, rewarding citizens with a share of collections for anyone who snitches on potential tax cheats. Last year the agency upped its reward payout for tax informants, topping out at a full 30%.

A few months ago, the Mayor of Newark, NJ announced a similar program designed to reward citizens for snitching on gun owners. According to the mayor, “We don’t even have to have a conviction,” for an informant to get paid a cool $1,000 cash. Rat out your neighbor, get paid. Simple.

(As an aside, police in neighboring East Orange, NJ have rolled out a new pre-crime surveillance system. In the words of Police Chief William Robinson, “The police are observing you. The police are recording you. And the police are responding.” Big Brother is clearly watching.)

In the financial system, there are droves of civilian agencies that have been coerced into becoming government spies. As we discussed a few weeks ago, everyone from bankers to brokers to gold dealers are obliged to submit ‘suspicious activity reports’ to the federal government. They even have minimum quotas.

What’s more, these so-called “SARs” must remain top-secret. It’s a crime for your banker to inform you that you were the subject of a suspicious activity report.

Yesterday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the federal agency which oversees the legions of unpaid government spies, added a few more businesses to the list. Now non-bank mortgage lenders and originators must ‘assist law enforcement’ by submitting suspicious activity reports.

The rule will take effect in the spring. What’s ambiguous is whether or not it will apply to -individuals- who hold and issue private mortgages.

Despite 50 pages of new regulations, the definition of ‘residential mortgage lender’ remains unclear. This is common with laws and regulations… they take up a lot of space, but they’re incredibly vague. Based on the published text:

  • Individuals who finance the sale of their residence are exempt.
  • Individuals who finance an investment property/properties that they own may be subject to the rule.
  • Businesses who own and finance investment properties are more than likely subject to the rule.
  • Individuals and businesses who finance properties that they do not own are subject to the rule.
  • Individuals and businesses who accept a residential mortgage application are subject to the rule.

In other words, if you loan money to someone to buy a house, you might just become the next unpaid government spy. Congratulations.

What’s incredible is that FinCEN came up with this rule all on its own. There was no Constitutional legislative progress. Nothing was submitted for debate on the House floor, or for the President’s signature.

This is not a law. It’s simply a new policy that a federal agency decided to impose, in its sole discretion. And it happens every single day across the hundreds of federal agencies in Washington– a sort of ‘self-legislation’ which creates thousands of pages of new regulations that each and every American is obliged to obey.

Not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind…

In the case of FinCEN, the agency has conjured a rule creating (by their estimate) 31,000 new unpaid government spies. You might be one of them. And in the coming months, you can expect more rulings that will apply to other professions– real estate agents, pawn brokers, and just about anyone who deals in cash.

Have you reached your breaking point yet?

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Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:49 | 2139785 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

bought and unlocked new iphone from the local Apple Store (it will  be returned so I am acutally borrowing it for a couple of weeks) and then went to my favorite ATT store to get a $10 30 day microsim to activate the thing

fatnerd ATT guy thought he had a prime suspect - who would bring in a new $600 iphone and only want a $10 chip - the questions and the stare -


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:51 | 2139802 drink or die
drink or die's picture

When he asks why make sure you reply with "pretty sure it's none of your f*cking business"

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:59 | 2139823 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I would just reply with a smile, "Well, I love hookers......but can't let the wife find out, ya know!"

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:08 | 2140713 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Anonymous still thinks he is.  Until he's replaced by...Anonymous.  Silly rabbit.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:57 | 2140804 Michael
Michael's picture



Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 02:29 | 2140850 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Thanks Bro.  Our career Congress is useless anyhow (term limits?) The biggest fear of TPTB is an educate citizenry...Remember..together we're invincible.  FEMA?  So we're all terrorists now? Yeah let them try and put 100M people away.  Stop Voting for libs, vote for people that follow our Constitution.  No, both sides are NOT THE SAME.  That's a losers attitude.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 08:12 | 2140985 thewhitelion
thewhitelion's picture

95% of both sides ARE the same on the most important issues.  FYI, that's not an atttitude, it's a fact, and easily observable.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:01 | 2141287 smb12321
smb12321's picture

I would almost guarantee that ZH is "monitored" by the FBI.  Not for the economic/political news (lol) but for some of the - how to say this nicely - bizarre views of the posters.   Almost all "suspects" do it to themselves - ominous, slightly threatening remarks that the powers that wanna be interpret as potentially dangerous.  I mean, if a poster stated he had a nuke in DC, would your response be, "That's nice."Considering that this is one of the few website where Iran, Syria and Ruissia are viewed as innocent good guys, that could possibly be the response. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:59 | 2139831 HedgeAccordingly
HedgeAccordingly's picture

I spy some animated Toggles - http://hedge.ly/gFWVSm 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:25 | 2139916 Mike2756
Mike2756's picture

We used to laugh at the Russians for this stuff. Not so funny now, is it?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:23 | 2140102 tankster
tankster's picture

yeah, Soverein Man, and the rest of you,

I happen to be a plumber that works in Newark from time to time, and I can tell you, from personal experience, that Booker is on the right track. There are WAY too many guns in Newark (and East Orange for that matter) and the people that are getting "ratted out" are not your law-abiding citizens, to say the Least! There's always one fuck, in a group of loudmouthes, who's the "carrier", or to whom one  must pay "respect"! I'ts disgusting.

Nj is THE hardest state in which to own a lawfully aquired firearm, and an argument can be made that more firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens is a good thing, (which I agree with) but to blindly advocate for the "libertarian" agenda without considering the facts on the ground is naive, at best.

BTW have you seen the"RAND" Paul add for rolling back Roe Vs. Wade?

I guess libertarianism only applies to the male of the species....

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:42 | 2140155 pods
pods's picture

God I hate the term "Law abiding citizen."


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:47 | 2140167 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

HEY! Dont be throwing "Soverein Man" around!  You want us all to end up on a list?  huh?  Those bastards have machines that read everything and report it to big brother...er the FBI and you could find yourself a non-self.

Ahem: I pleadge allegence to the INGSOC...

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:56 | 2140190 skully1969
skully1969's picture

Can anyone make any sense out of this gibberish?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 23:36 | 2140484 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

I had no idea what he was trying to say other than calling someone else idiots. 

That is what I'm finding the problem with society today is...everyone, no matter how dumb, thinks everyone else is more dumb. 

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 00:11 | 2140584 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

If he's a plumber from NJ, ... ask him if his keyboard gets stinky?   <Joking> I don't think he's a plumber from NJ.  The them they, love gun control.  The only rational I have read for Fast and Furious was that Hillary and others thought they would encourage gun restrictions, on sales for example, if they could get a high percentage of weapons seized in Mexico's drug war, originating in the AZ, US.

So he's trolling for gov. gun controls.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:24 | 2140741 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Every idiot is entitled to be smarter than the next idiot.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:42 | 2140307 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

Greetings from central Jersey

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:04 | 2141311 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Yes, the vast majority of crime (99.999999%) is done by a tiny portion of the population.   People are not going to be complaining that cousing Joe is a terrorist because he owes you $20.  Yet another wet dream fantasy for the diehard ZH posters who are convinced that despite their anti-society comments freely expressed, the police state is just around the corner.,. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:47 | 2139971 non_anon
non_anon's picture

kinda, trying to read all the posts, but I ditched my cell phone a few years back, GPS tracking and other "service" fees, trying to figure out how to get rid of my land line!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:06 | 2140043 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

I think everyone should start going around doing 'suspicious' stuff.

Have fun with it, why be afraid when there's so much entertainment to be had.

  • Walk into a bank, or public building and start taking pictures with your phone - be blatant.
  • Next time your at the bank ask what time the armored car usually comes - "Why? Oh... no reason."
  • Run out of a store with your arm tucked in your jacket like you're hiding something.
  • Act as furtively as possible when unlocking your car at the mall - keep that head on a swivel.
  • When shopping, ask about additional exits, or if you can see the back-room.
  • Next time you see a policeman, run away. Just for the exercise.

Turn that frown upside down. These are 'interesting times' we're living in. So LIVE a little.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:49 | 2140175 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Last week I asked how much money my bank could pay out without problem on an average day.  After funny looks and a check-in with the manager the girl came back, "Well, $5000 most days but it can vary."

Hmmm.  When the banks start to run that doesnt sound like much.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:59 | 2140196 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We moved tens of thousands after a house sale once.

Not a problem. They knew where the money came from, no doubt about it.


Just one tidbit for you Vets and SS folks. That money is tagged with a XX on your direct deposit statement so that if there is a garnishment, those deposits are protected. All other deposits made are fair game.


Several years ago in a POS FDIC bank branch, The entire staff had to dig up the 600 or so dollars I asked for. I was told they ordered a Armored truck from Fed Reserve to bring more money to run the branch it will be a while.

I got out of FDIC that week.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 00:16 | 2140606 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

He's talking about removing cash.  Can not be done in the US.  Yes you can transfer your digits around.

We moved tens of thousands after a house sale once.

Not a problem. They knew where the money came from, no doubt about it.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:27 | 2140253 nevadan
nevadan's picture

About a month ago I was in my bank depositing some checks and asked for $2k in cash, which was produced without any question.  The teller and I have developed a friendly relationship over the several years I have banked at this particular branch.  It occurred to me to ask her how much cash I could collect before the red flags and sirens would go off at Homeland Security, IRS, etc.  She smiled coyly and said "well there is a number but I can't tell you what it is.  If you aren't doing anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about".  I replied that that was what the Nazi's said before they took over.  She smiled coyly.....

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:39 | 2140280 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I have a credit union with a VERY good staff.

It is not easy to find such resources these days.


Rural banking is rather nice when the Staff is on good terms with you. I will mention that I take my cash in 20's only not 50's or 100's nope. I have not run them dry yet.

Even though sometimes the armed bank courier is standing with the staff and holstered weapon taking care of them on the quiet days I go.

A Casino told me 9,999.00 without any issue. If I happened to visit several times after my regular meals and cashed in chips.... there is no issue. After all they are open 24 seven. Now Indian Casinos.... they are Soveriegn Nations and not under US Law, but under Tribal Law.

They do hate with a great passion the US 20 dollar bill though. They cannot stand to look at them but will issue you, paleface with that crap.


After all that Indian Casino will generate the revenue they need to raise up a City complete with regular stuff we are used to having in our US Cities. That is how they are going to dig themselves off the reservation. Someday they will unite and sue the USA for Nationhood.

THAT will be interesting.

I always leave said casino as if they are owning my home and a sad face to match the body language. That keeps me from being a mark.

A bum asked me for money at a gas station, I laughed and said everything is electronic. Hell the Credit card can be given to him at gunpoint but what good is it? The banks will intercept that with a phone call.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:34 | 2140283 illyia
illyia's picture

I asked a few years ago and the answer was 9,999.00 before the flag - but the oversight is much greater now. Perhaps the goal is total information awareness...

Oops. I did it again.


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 23:23 | 2140445 RexZeedog
RexZeedog's picture

Every week, take an extra $100 or so and stash it aside. Everyone should have at least $5,000 cas stashed away, untraceable, at all times.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:48 | 2140787 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

5K Untraceable?  If that's your circumstance, then use 75 bucks of it to buy some storable FOOD.  Cause eventually 5k will buy you and your loved ones a box of corn flakes.  Better to become politically involved while you still can.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:00 | 2140693 xcehn
xcehn's picture

Depends on your particular 'profile,' i.e., your transaction history. If the cash transaction is 'unusual,' as little as $2500 could trigger it. However, 6k or more definitely will according to many informal sources.  I have heard that bank clerks are so intimidated by SAR law that they will always file a SAR if there's the slightest appearance of irregularity, out of fear for being cited for failing to file one.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:54 | 2140802 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

If you take advice from a Bank teller, don't worry about a financial collapse.  Just roll with the punches.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:39 | 2140770 brettd
brettd's picture

You're more right than you know, IMHO. And funny, to boot!  

I was in Bejing some time ago and looked around at the masses.  In seconds it became so clear that trying to surveil any large population 

will quickly bankrupt the country that tries to do it---not to mention drive the people doing the surveilling completely batty. 

The other "screw with big brother" tactic that is a favorite is working to reduce your tax liability---legally---to zero.  It's really a fun sport, and can be


Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:31 | 2142078 unnamed enemy
unnamed enemy's picture

why dont you try some of those activities and let us know how it goes.

i have a feeling you gonna run into big brother very soon, and its probably not going to be as much fun as you think.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 00:08 | 2140568 trav7777
trav7777's picture

iphones are for losers

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:45 | 2139787 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

what is my 'breaking point'?  what is yours?  want to see me get blown up to protect your interests?  nice guy mr. simon black.  i've got your black back ok?  i'm right behind you.  let's have lots of fun.


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:45 | 2139973 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

In light of the recent articles about "sovereign citizens" Mr. Black calling himself Sovereign Man exposed his back some time ago.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:49 | 2139990 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Not sure what my breaking point is but I bought some bullets today.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:12 | 2140067 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Saw a well dressed Gen X guy hit his breaking point a couple of days ago at Kroger, when he saw the price of Entenmann's coffee cake. ($6.50). He went into quite a rant about how food roits were going to start soon because people can't afford food.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:42 | 2140306 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Wait until you learn the fucking quart of Breyers Ice Cream is 6.50+ at Wal greens while Walmart sells the exact same for about 3.25 give or take a little.


It aint my breaking point.


Frankly I have hardened myself and family to the coming troubles... there is a breaking point, and I have hit it several times in life. I know where they are. And it aint going to be the gas prices or any of that crap.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:41 | 2140777 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

If I saw a Gen X Yuppie bitching about Entenmanns coffee cake I'd consider that like the seventh fucking sign!


Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:41 | 2140778 Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson's picture

LMAO.  Entemann's sure is good.  I like eating the icing off the chocolate cake.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 01:46 | 2140785 brettd
brettd's picture


Who can afford cake?

My health insurance premiums up 3X in a year!  No chronic anything.  No heart disease. No cancer....

Looking to self-insure, or some variant. Work an off the books deal with my MD.


Thu, 02/09/2012 - 03:40 | 2140905 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Insurance? Suckers. I have a bad heart. Pace maker and everything. No insurance. Every time I have a heart attack, the emergency room guys fix me up, and away I go. I have to dodge the collections fone calls, but they can't garnish my disability. Ha, ha. I spent my life watching the gooberment suck my paychecks and throw it away on crap. I'm just getting some back. Our system has cancer. Every man for himself.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:15 | 2140078 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

There are surely terrorists hiding in every shadow aren't there. Let's give up all of our freedoms while we are at it, so we dont get "blown up"

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:46 | 2139789 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

the next level is where you rat out yourself

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:54 | 2139810 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

That's called Facebook.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:15 | 2139879 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

lolmao500 - thanks.  blankfein is simply waiting for when he can cash out on the facebook ipo.  the poor boy has been taking a beating lately.  yup.  post your 'whole life' on facebook. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:23 | 2139911 Timmay
Timmay's picture

So true. My family just doesn't get it. My wife says "there is a button she can press that keeps other poeple from viewing her page"........

Yeah, that's what I thought about her too.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:04 | 2140034 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

If you have ever gone to www.spokeo.com the results, though often a bit inaccurate, are rather frightening.



Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:44 | 2140157 uno
uno's picture

first time I heard about it, yes inaccurate and scary, all my old addresses are in there, all the way back to 1986

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!