U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans’ finances
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.
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 ….
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.
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.
The excuse given for this intrusion on privacy?
As with the destruction of all of our privacies and other liberties, the excuse given is terrorism.
Indeed, given that the government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain Americans without any due process of law, do you think government employees will hesitate in seizing the assets of Americans labels as “enemies?”
And the government’s take-down of Megaupload was an exercise of the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.