U.S. Spy Agencies to get Financial Records

Think you have any privacy?

Think there is anything that government employees can’t go rummage around in?

They already are lined up to get all your medical records. Next?


US to Let Spy Agencies Scour Americans’ Finances

Published: Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 | 1:34 AM ET

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.

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.

The article goes on to mention the $10,000 cash transaction trigger on reporting “suspicious” things. They fail to mention that sometimes it is lower, depending on things that are left unclear.

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.

Yes, no intrusion too great, and no sucking maw of data gobbling too large; as long as the Magic Word “Terrorism” is in the mix.

Want to buy a car with cash? Want to take a vacation “to the wrong place” and “with too much money”? Be prepared for alarm bells to ring and your X-Ray to be taken at the airport. You do know where “the wrong places” are and how much is “too much money”? Right?

I’m all for catching the “bad guys” and putting the underground Jihadists out of business, but we are building just those systems that a would be dictator would want. Remember the stack of FBI files that were “found” in the White House with Ms. Hillary? Think “the commander in chief” can’t order up some “security reviews” for “military reasons – top secret”?

If your entire financial life and your medical records (now being mandated computerized) are just a few keystrokes away; exactly what IS private? Anything bought on credit card / debit card / EFT is going to be listed. Hope your reading list is “appropriate” and that you don’t like unapproved or “embarrassing” toys. “Gag Gifts” could be an issue too. Oh, and that Halloween costume? Better make sure the name of the thing is “acceptable”.

Freedom requires privacy. When there is no private information, there can be no liberty. Safety without liberty is called prison.


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

Unless it is “papers or effects” that are already “seized” by massive computer data dredges and has anything to do with your health or any financial data.

Just what “papers and effects” are left to be protected? Email is already up for grabs. In many companies mandatory archiving for more easy dredging by government is the law. Maybe it still applies to “junk mail”… Once you sort out the financial and the medical, and the email, there isn’t a whole lot left in the “secure” pile.

So it looks to me like we can add the 4th Amendment to the “Kiss it off” pile of dead constitutional rights.

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Political Current Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to U.S. Spy Agencies to get Financial Records

  1. omanuel says:

    Truth is stranger than fiction!

    Historical records show climategate is the long-term consequence of a crisis of conscience involving two British authors of science fiction, George Orwell and Fred Hoyle in 1945-46:



  2. Ian W says:

    I don’t think that there is any part of ‘The Bill of Rights’ that is not under threat or has already been removed as a right. The Constitution is being unraveled in front of us.

  3. BobN says:

    The people sit by and do nothing, it will continue to get worse. Where is the outrage?

  4. PhilJourdan says:

    Science Fiction movies are both entertaining, and prophetic. The only way to avoid Big Brother is to stay off the Grid (T3).

    The sad part is that John Roberts opened the door to all of this with his rationale for rewriting Obamacare. We elected the cretins, SCOTUS is not there to protect us from our stupidity.

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Childish games….can´t reach our souls, unless we surrender them, and many have sold their souls to get some crusts of bread from the table of the rich and mad.

  6. John Robertson says:

    I am currently struggling with, Who are the bad guys?
    A handfull of malcontents and zealots?
    Or government agents who steal over 1/2 of the return on my labour?
    The first guys can cause about as much damage as a plane crash, much less cost per individual citizen.
    The second destroy economies, social structure and lives enmass.
    Funnily enough was reading Rodger Zelazny “My Name Is Legion” last night.
    Makes me wonder how many synthetic people exist in the archives already.
    I keep having to remind myself that govt is no entity, just people like me, I was a govt employee for 7 years, until I sobered up and realized how useless my function was and would be.
    I have not been bored since.
    Government needs shrunk, poverty will do it.
    My suspicion is, that govt officials spy on the people they fear, so some hope for correction exists.
    The ranks of government are made up mostly of idealists, loafers and free lunchers.The number of Machiavellians are limited, most of the power hungry rush over to direct politics.
    Also for all their spying, data mining and intrusion into our privacy, the quality of the analysts will remain Government Grade,so major hazards will slide by their attention, protected by union protocol and innocent transgressions of unknown laws will get the iron fist treatment.
    The law of unintended consequences is pointing toward SNAFU.

  7. GT says:

    You’re right but if they don’t find anything useful, they’ll just make stuff up. It hardly matters anymore.

  8. DirkH says:

    PhilJourdan says:
    14 March 2013 at 12:33 pm
    “Science Fiction movies are both entertaining, and prophetic. ”

    That’s an effect of cherry picking. I’m still waiting for huge bean plants that breed human lookalikes with an empty stare.

  9. PhilJourdan says:

    You have not visited a Walmart store at Midnight on the first of the month I take it?

  10. Zeke says:

    I tried to refuse health coverage, but the mate overruled.

  11. DirkH says:

    PhilJourdan says:
    14 March 2013 at 7:33 pm
    “You have not visited a Walmart store at Midnight on the first of the month I take it?”

    That’s when they sell the plants? Can I buy over the Internet? I need a lookalike of myself that I can send to my workplace.

  12. tckev says:

    How long before all changes to – If the government does not allow it , it must be illegal ?

  13. PhilJourdan says:

    Dirk – Walmart sells EVERYTHING.

  14. Ian W says:

    And now to add to the loss of 4th Amendment rights, we have the Federal government now owning everyone’s mortgage

    The engrenage of the progressives is moving a little faster.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    “Engrenage”…. interesting word. “Clockwork wheels” roughly…


    How long? Um, about a decade back ….

  16. gareth says:

    In the UK, if you draw out some cash (enough to buy a 2nd hand car) you get asked, as if in conversation “oh, planning to buy anything nice?” or a similar question. If you try to say “that’s my business” you’ll get told that you can’t have *your* money unless they are “satisfied” as to what you want to use it for. I’m currently following this up to try to find out what the legal background to this is and what the information is used for – the bank (NatWest) has refused to say so far…

  17. Russ Wood says:

    Yep – predicted by Science Fiction. Read (for free!) Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” at http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/

  18. Matthew W says:

    Still waiting for the usual leftist suspects that squealed for 8 years about how BUSH was undermining civil liberties and privacy……………

  19. R. de Haan says:

    This is unbelievable. The EU apparatchiks justify their theft Cyprus for 10% income tax, showing their ugly socialist face. Expats and UK military will be compensated by the UK Government (at the expense of the UK tax payers). In the news a father was interviewed who just closed a student loan for his daughter and made a deposit on her account. She couldn’t draw any money. This is the beginning of the end. The EU has shot its self in the foot. They just shut the door on foreign investments and deposit holder europe wide will think twice and putting their money under the mattress again. I’m sure the Russians will get back on European investors and plunder their bank accounts as well. This is creation of crises, not solving it. The sooner the roof comes down the better. We didn’t win the Cold War for nothing.

  20. R. de Haan says:

    For what it’s worth some more backgrund info from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/17/cyprus-savings-levy-uk-compensate

  21. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Matthew W ; how about this:


    I think after the Raun Paul Filibuster of drone use, honorable liberals are beginning to wake up. Obamanation loyalists will never wake up. They will be the death of the Democratic party. pg

  22. Matthew W says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    17 March 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Sure, but Democrats are great at feigning outrage when they need to score political points.
    They get over it quickly and go back to being mainstream progressives as quick as can be.

Comments are closed.