Obama to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances
- Feds to rummage through the private data of Americans without a search warrant.
- Big Brother government does not believe that free American citizens have the right to move their own money from place to place without Police State surveillance.
Police State - The Obama regime 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 forced against their will 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 reports the Chicago Tribune.
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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.
Financial institutions file more than 15 million Big Brother "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.
Big Brother government does not believe that American citizens have the right to move their own money from place to place without Police State surveillance.
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 Sept. 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.