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OBAMA WANTS TO GIVE NSA AND CIA FULL ACCESS TO YOUR BANK RECORDS
If the federal government has its way, United States intelligence agencies will soon be able to sift through a massive database containing information about banking transactions of U.S. citizens.
The Obama administration is drafting a plan that will give the CIA and NSA access to a database of suspicious financial transactions that until now only law enforcement agencies have been able to access.
The database, known as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, is maintained by the Treasury Department and contains reports of suspicious customer activity that financial institutions are required by law to file. They track large money transfers and cash transactions above $ 10,000 and also report unusual bank accounts. It’s designed to uncover money laundering and other financial crimes, including loan fraud.
Banks and other financial institutions file more than 15 million suspicious-activity reports each year.
The aim is to give the spy agencies more data to spot patterns and track the activities of terrorist networks, according to Reuters. While access to the database for these agencies is permitted under U.S. law, civil liberties groups are concerned that it could lead to innocent people being tracked as potential terrorists.
It “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,” Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel for the Rule of Law Program at the Constitution Project, told Reuters.
Under the proposal, the FinCEN database would be linked up to the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, which U.S. defense and law enforcement agencies currently use to share classified information.