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Obama Administration To Allow All Spy Agencies To Scour Americans' Finances 405

New submitter KrisJon writes "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.' 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."
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Obama Administration To Allow All Spy Agencies To Scour Americans' Finances

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  • And you said... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @04:47PM (#43163617)

    ..."not like it can get any worse".

  • Cue the apologists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @04:52PM (#43163677) Homepage Journal

    What's it going to take for people to realize that Obama is just as bad as and in many ways worse than Bush?

    I swear, Obama could issue an executive order mandating that they suck a dick and the apologists would just shrug and say "Yeah, but Bush would have made us swallow!"

    It would be grand if people only had to live with the consequences of the policies they support.


  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @05:01PM (#43163805) Homepage

    Careful dude, every time I mention Obama treating private property like communal property, I get down-modded.

    Besides, all this communism can't pay for itself!

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @05:05PM (#43163883) Homepage Journal

    I'm a life long conservative Republican and even I didn't vote for Romney.

    If Romney had won and was behaving like Obama is, I'd be every bit as outspoken in my opposition.


  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @05:32PM (#43164197) Homepage Journal

    via Glenn Greenwald []:

    Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)

    Posted Tuesday 12th March 2013 from Twitlonger

    The Progressive Mind (in some hyper-partisan precients):

    (1) Rand Paul holds numerous horrendous positions. Therefore, it is impermissible ever to agree with or support him on any one specific issue. The minute one agrees with him on any one issue, one is infected with all his other views, no matter how much one disagrees with those other views.

    (2) Barack Obama not only holds numerous horrendous positions, but actually does numerous heinous things (eg, [], [], [], []). Nonetheless, it is not only permissible - but mandatory - to support him not just on an issue-by-issue basis but for his general empowerment. One is free to support him and cheer for him without being infected by any of his heinous views and actions with which one disagrees.

    I would give a big prize to anyone who can come close to reconciling those lines of reasoning.

    It's extremely simple: you support politicians in those instances when you agree with their views, and oppose them in those instances when you disagree with those views.

    Literally, I could live to be 500 years old and never comprehend how so many progressives, who (by the way) reside in the reality-based community, are unwilling and/or unable to process this very basic proposition.

  • Priorities, people. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xyourfacekillerx ( 939258 ) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @05:35PM (#43164221)

    Spy agencies are still not allowed to share most intelligence information arbitrarily, whether the subject is domestic or not. These roadblocks ensure the safety and reliability of each agency's intel, and provide confidence in policy decisions based on that intel (legislative, military, etc).

    But spy agencies already could look at your financial information, independently. That is not a concern to me. Smart citizens already know Obomacare provides a stipulation that states, payments made electronically to health providers constitutes a waiver for the federal government to examine that individual's financial accounts from the bank who disbursed to the health provider. (So you have to pay in cash if you don't want the feds digging into your financial records because of a sore throat.)

    What is a concern is that the intel each agency now has the access to that financial information regardless. And this concerns me because it can easily be used against a citizen. Say, you're behind on your student loans, the government can check your bank account, determine that you have funds to pay a monthly minimum they've decided you ought to pay, then they can order your physician not to provide health care to prevent you from spending that money on the doctor, ... basically they won't LET you get your health care until you've paid your other dues...

    Another cause for concern is that, well, the agencies are using the same intel. that's a bad paradigm. In the intel world, redundancy and duplication of data is a good thing. Unlike in computer science land, in intel, that kind of thing actually encourages data accuracy and confidence, it reduces the possibility of tampering, and is a specific tactical tool in international anti-intel. (Think about it like this: Texas Hold 'Em wouldn't be an easier game to beat if all the players didn't share a deck and also share a hand. And if an attacker manipulates the deck, all players are equally affected.)

    So I'm wondering. What is the priority my government has to monitor my financial data? And why is it so important that all spy agencies need to share that data, from one single source, when they already were allowed to collect that data independently as their investigation warranted? Is this about stopping crime or is it about providing means to extract every cent from every citizen? If the government was having trouble tracking drug cartel finances before, how is this supposed to help? The cartels were already beating the system. So it affects the bad guys zero, and the good guys by one. Really, what is the priority here?

  • or perhaps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @06:59PM (#43165107)

    you have such a short attention span that you do not see trends if they advance slowly enough.

    This nation is already NOTHING like what it was in the 1960's.

    • There was no such thing as "hate speech"... you were free to speak your mind and others were free to dislike what you said. In Communist nations, people are generally intimidated into self-regulating their speech; this is a related behavior.
    • "Politically correct" speech only existed in Communist countries. People would tell you something false (like "there's plenty of toilet paper at the store") and quietly say that this was obviously false but that it was "politically correct" (i.e. the people in power said it was so, so naturally it was important to parrot the line). Americans used to laugh at this tragic irrationality imposed upon people in totalitarian nations. Now we have it here. It is a necessity in communist systems.
    • You used to be able to run into an airport on a whim, buy a one-way ticket for cash, run to the gate and board the plane carrying nearly anything that would fit in the overhead bin. No Microwaves, no X-Rays, no grope-fests, no metal detectors, etc. Planes were not falling from the skies. Now a visit to an airport looks like a visit to a 1960's Moscow train station; you stand in line like cattle ... you cannot shake the feeling that there's a Progressive "Political Officer" somewhere nearby keeping an eye on everything....
    • Americans used to live in a "free market" system... you could use any amount of water or energy you wanted as long as you paid for it. If you used larger amounts, you got a volume discount. Now, because luddites have intimidated government and business entities into not building enough power plants and water plants political considerations have infected everything (as happens in communist nations) and so we no longer have all the power and water we need... so big brother keeps propagandizing us to use LESS and the rates for use go UP with volume (the opposite of what happens in free markets). Our children are propagandized to view business as evil and businessmen as selfish and greedy
    • Americans used to get excellent and affordable healthcare; doctors used to make house calls. As government has become more-involved, access has become more difficult and costs have spiraled. When govt gives "free" healthcare to illegal aliens, and promises to give seniors X care (and claims credit for providing it) but only pays hospitals and doctors 0.5X, those costs get added to the bills of the people with private insurance, which must then raise rates. The people get mad at the private insurers for the rate increases, and Obama has played this masterfully to get the dumbest slice of the public to vote for communist healthcare... which is what they'll get after the interim step of Obamacare (which is not designed to be a sustainable permanent solution, but rather to destroy private healthcare and leave people with healthcare needs but no private infrastructure)
    • Americans used to be able to take a couple thousand dollars and start a business in a garage that could grow into an empire (think HP, or Apple). Now, with all the thousands of regulations and all the bureaucracies (run by czars, no less) this is becoming very difficult; it's easier to get a government job, and the pay and benefits are now better in government than in the private sector (this was never true before in the U.S.)
    • Americans used to have full constitutional rights, including with guns. Lots of kids took guns to school (some because they had shooting clubs there, some because they were going hunting after school, some because they had been hunting before school, and some simply because the guns were with their other stuff or in their cars/trucks and it simply would not occur to them that the presence of a gun was any issue to anybody. Now our government-run schools are kicking kids out or having their mental health checked if they draw a picture of a gun or use their fingers and thumbs like a

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