CIA has access to your bank records

#1
Worrying if true!!!!

The Telegraph said:
CIA has access to your bank records

The bank transaction records of millions of people in Britain and around the world may have been disclosed illegally to US intelligence agencies as part of the Bush administration's counter-terrorism programme, privacy campaigners said yesterday.

CIA agents and US treasury officials have been secretly monitoring financial transactions routed through Swift, the Brussels-based, industry-owned co-operative that links 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

Full text: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...a28.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/28/ixuknews.html
 
#2
well if they looked at mine they would laugh, as quick as i put money in my wife and kids take it out. :x
 
#3
merkator said:
Worrying if true!!!!

The Telegraph said:
CIA has access to your bank records

The bank transaction records of millions of people in Britain and around the world may have been disclosed illegally to US intelligence agencies as part of the Bush administration's counter-terrorism programme, privacy campaigners said yesterday.

CIA agents and US treasury officials have been secretly monitoring financial transactions routed through Swift, the Brussels-based, industry-owned co-operative that links 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

Full text: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...a28.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/28/ixuknews.html
Why's it worrying?

It's a tool for gathering intelligence, although there's a privacy issue here, do you really think the CIA are interested in trawling through the bank accounts of people such as you and I just for the sake of it?

Or are you worried they'll see the charge for 'media/miscellaneous services' on your records?
 
#4
Theres feck all in it any way, maybe they could chase a certain scrote on ebay for not sending the goods.

The transaction date was 020406. He is also responsible for 911 and he knows where Bin Laden is hiding.

Its the CIA they can do anything

SK :roll:
 
#5
Random_Task said:
Why's it worrying?
For an administration determined to export 'democracy' by force, the GOP collective has a very unhealthy way of observing 'democracy' at home and amongst friends.

In the past I spent a lot of time in Africa. We used to have a saying: African democracy is one man, one vote, ONCE. The winner of THE election taking the result to justify carte-blanche a perpetual dictatorship where he could do what he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted.

Recent events tend to suggest that the GOP collective has refined the old saying as follows: US democracy is one man, one vote, every four years. But still take the result as a mandate to do what they want, when they want, how they want.

I have no problem with the 'reasonable' surveillance of international bank transactions to combat crime and terrorism. I have a problem with the manner in which this particular event has been conducted and follows on similar stories of telephone evesdropping and so on.

Don't forget, democracy is far more than just going to the polling booth and plonking a cross in a box. In a 'true' democracy, the actions and decisions of the executive should have, and be seen to have, oversight; checks and balances if you wish. They should NOT have a free-hand in any circumstances.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to be personally informed of, and my approval required, for each and every decision. However, if my bank details are to be monitored, my telephone calls to be listened into and so on, I'd like somebody to come forward in advance, and publically announce what is going to happen, why it is necessary, and how I can be sure that these 'new' powers will not be abused.

All we get from the GOP collective is: since we are claiming this is part of the counter-terrorism fight, eat sh1t!
 
#6
But what goes beyond 'reasonable surveillance' in your opinion?

Any organisation, especially one such as the CIA only has a finite number of resources, something the media constantly reminds us of.

Swift seemingly gave approval for the programe:


CIA has access to your bank records

Swift said the agreement concerned ''limited sets of data from the office of foreign assets control of the department of the treasury''. It added: ''Our fundamental principle has been to preserve the confidentiality of our users' data while complying with the lawful obligations in countries where we operate."
SWIFT statement on compliance policy:
SWIFT negotiated with the U.S. Treasury over the scope and oversight of the subpoenas. Through this process, SWIFT received significant protections and assurances as to the purpose, confidentiality, oversight and control of the limited sets of data produced under the subpoenas. Independent audit controls provide additional assurance that these protections are fully complied with.

All of these actions have been undertaken with advice from international and U.S. legal counsel and following our longstanding procedures on compliance, established by our Board.
As for checks and balances, the policy of tracking financial transactions related to terrorism, has always been one which the US Treasury (in this example) have been transparent about, they've simply chosen not to mention how they do it. Even big four accounting firms have had a hand in such investigations.

More information here at the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program Fact Sheet

(Edited once for dodgy spelling)
 
#7
Under the deal, counter-terrorism analysts can ask Swift to look for information on activities by suspected terrorists as part of specific terrorism investigations.

Swift said the agreement concerned ''limited sets of data from the office of foreign assets control of the department of the treasury''.
As long as you don't fit that grouping, then I doubt you'ld have much to worry about. If you do, then informing you of the when, what and why would defeat the purpose wouldn't it?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#8
A lot of fuss for nothing. SWIFT are only involved with UK bank accounts if one is sending money overseas (It has nothing to do with a BACS or CHAPS transfer)

If you're transferring from a UK account, OEIC, PEP, ISA or investment bond abroad you require a SWIFT code or an IBAN code along with other banking details. Day to day banking regarding your account balance, withdrawals etc will not be passed on by them. If someone is regularly sending cash abroad they are normally someone sending funds back to their home country, ex-pats or at a push money-launderers. All of which transactions have to be fully money-laundering checked anyway.
 
#9
Ah, but your BANK has a duty to notify the police if they identify any suspicious activity on your account -as do lawyers, accountants and financial advisers if they have any suspicion. This is under money lanudering rules implemented in the UK under the EU money laundering directive, introduced in parallel with similar legislation in the USA. (Except that US Lawyers have argued that they don;lt have to)

This isnlt a very efficient process. A high street bank can generate thousands of these a year. Each one may take Mr Plod a month to investigate.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
Which is what I posted above, no? It's not efficient but it is a FSA requirement. Possibly grounds for a new thread- "bankers and financiers inform the plod if they think you're dodgy"
 
#11
Random_Task said:
But what goes beyond 'reasonable surveillance' in your opinion?
When oversight and scrutiny of the actions is minimal or non-existant and/or the process is not publically 'transparent'.

From the US Treasury link you posted (my highlighting):
As part of its vital mission, Treasury issues subpoenas to SWIFT – a Belgium-based company with U.S. offices that operates a worldwide messaging system used to transmit bank transaction information – seeking information on suspected international terrorists. Under the terms of the subpoenas, the U.S. government may only review information as part of specific terrorism investigations.
Question. Who determines whether the request truely does have a "specific terrorism" element?
Question. Who provides 'real' oversight and scrutiny to this process?
Question. Who verifies that this system is not be abused?

Second, As a number of US posters in this forum keep telling us, and want us to believe, domestic law is above international law. Israelis can do what they like in Israel and the occupied territories, as long as they don't breach Israeli law. The invasion of Iraq was legal because war had been approved by Congress. However, they also seem to think that their domestic law is above other states' domestic laws, and it gives them the right to meddle elsewhere. What right does the CIA have to pry into a SWIFT transaction between two accounts held outside the US by non-US citizens? Answer. They have the right to 'bully' SWIFT into their demands as SWIFT maintains offices and wishes to conduct business in the US. Same deal as that offered to Google by China.

Random_Task said:
Or are you worried they'll see the charge for 'media/miscellaneous services' on your records?
You're quite close to the mark...

2 years back, I received into my Brussels bank account a wire transfer from Saudi Arabia for a generous sum of money. That money was perfectly legitimate - as I subsequently proved with ease. I am not, and never have been, involved in criminal acts that require the laundering of such sums of money (parking tickets and speeding fines just don't make the grade!!!), nor do I have the slightest link to terrorism - other than my unheroic efforts for HM Armed Forces during the bad days of PIRA. I won't go into any further details other than to say that the manner in which the (covert) investigation was conducted against me was not something I wish on others!!!!

I cannot believe I am the only one to have ever been mis-identified and inconvenienced in this way. I thus have a rather dim view of:
The program has rigorous safeguards and protocols to protect privacy. Searches of records must identify the terrorism-related basis, which is systematically logged and auditable. Regular, independent audits of the program have confirmed that the U.S. Government has consistently observed the established safeguards and protocols.
When I asked for these logs, did I get to see them? Did I fcuk!!!

When the CIA waves the 'terrorism' card, nobody argues. The oversight in place is meaningless.
 
#12
merkator said:
Random_Task said:
Or are you worried they'll see the charge for 'media/miscellaneous services' on your records?
You're quite close to the mark...

2 years back, I received into my Brussels bank account a wire transfer from Saudi Arabia for a generous sum of money. That money was perfectly legitimate - as I subsequently proved with ease. I am not, and never have been, involved in criminal acts that require the laundering of such sums of money (parking tickets and speeding fines just don't make the grade!!!), nor do I have the slightest link to terrorism - other than my unheroic efforts for HM Armed Forces during the bad days of PIRA. I won't go into any further details other than to say that the manner in which the (covert) investigation was conducted against me was not something I wish on others!!!!

I cannot believe I am the only one to have ever been mis-identified and inconvenienced in this way. I thus have a rather dim view of:
The program has rigorous safeguards and protocols to protect privacy. Searches of records must identify the terrorism-related basis, which is systematically logged and auditable. Regular, independent audits of the program have confirmed that the U.S. Government has consistently observed the established safeguards and protocols.
When I asked for these logs, did I get to see them? Did I fcuk!!!

When the CIA waves the 'terrorism' card, nobody argues. The oversight in place is meaningless.
I accept that this was an inconvenience to you Merkator, however I would rather be inconvenienced once or twice or even lots of times if it means that terrorists and organised criminal/gangs are unable to move money around the world helping them to carry out attacks on innocent people like you and me in our own free countries.

Jimima
 
#13
I have a better idea. Let's make all the bank records public, then the pollies and taxdodgers will have to own up to where their cash comes from.
 
#15
Question. Who determines whether the request truely does have a "specific terrorism" element?
At a guess,probably these people:

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA)

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA) was established by the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004.

The Act specifies that OIA shall be responsible for the receipt, analysis, collation, and dissemination of foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence information related to the operation and responsibilities of the Department of the Treasury.

OIA’s mission is to support the formulation of policy and execution of Treasury authorities by providing:

Expert analysis and intelligence production on financial and other support networks for terrorist groups, proliferators, and other key national security threats;
timely, accurate, and focused intelligence support on the full range of economic, political, and security issues.

Question. Who provides 'real' oversight and scrutiny to this process?
In the example of the OIA, it would be Stuart Levey,Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. I would imagine Levey reports to the Treasury Secretary, who reports to the Senate. (taken from here)

Question. Who verifies that this system is not be abused?
Not sure, but the Inspector General?
 
#16
Thanks Random_Task. Now I know who to blame for my little episode... Mind you, doubt it'll do any good, will it? I mean, knowing who didn't do their job doesn't help when they sit in a foreign land and are, effectively, beyond my reach.
 
#17
merkator said:
Thanks Random_Task. Now I know who to blame for my little episode... Mind you, doubt it'll do any good, will it? I mean, knowing who didn't do their job doesn't help when they sit in a foreign land and are, effectively, beyond my reach.
At least you know which department/official to write to :wink:
 

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