• Several states working to make financial info gathered by NSA, banks inadmissible
By Ronald L. Ray
Canadian David Hague works in the dizzying financial world by day and satirizes its frauds and foibles during his free time. But his spoof, “NSA inks landmark deal to share information with central banks,” hit a nerve on the Internet. While the inspiration was a factual article in Spiegel Online, the online arm of Germany’s print weekly Der Spiegel, the account of decadent bankers profiting from National Security Agency (NSA) secrets was just a joke. Or was it?
This reporter’s research has uncovered disturbing evidence that the NSA does indeed have agreements with numerous banks, which permit the bidirectional flow of highly sensitive information between financiers and the federal government. Ostensibly for “fighting terrorism,” the data-transfer arrangements actually are keys that may have opened Pandora’s box and released the sinister means to nearly unlimited profiteering by the unscrupulous, and to a potential world empire ruled by wealthy bankers.
According to last September’s Spiegel report, the NSA’s ability to access nearly all kinds of financial data worldwide has existed at least since 2006. This includes “bank transfers, credit card transactions and money transfers,” which are stored in the agency’s Tracfin database. The program, named “Follow the Money,” had collected 20 million datasets by 2008, but that number exploded to 180 million in 2011.
Moreover, the intelligence is “bulk data,” which contains a wealth of personal information, much of which is unrelated to espionage targets. Consequently, there is massive potential for abuse, as already demonstrated in other federal espionage programs.
In 2010, the NSA finally obtained a compromise agreement with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which processes international transactions for over 8,000 banks globally. This gave the spy agency legal authority to monitor those transactions. But when it recently became known that the NSA had already stolen the information for years, the European Union erupted into anger and threats to terminate the agreement, not least because information-sharing with other agencies allegedly exceeded permissible limits.
Documentation likewise shows the close, controversial involvement of the United States Treasury Department in selecting espionage targets. The department is a well-known, revolving-door career stepping-stone for employees and officers of major banks, like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. This raises the question of political and profit motivations in choosing targets.
The increasing number and sophistication of cyber-attacks on financial companies has produced claims that they cannot cope using traditional security companies, leading to new agreements increasing exchange of information between the bankers and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and NSA. Reuters quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers employee, Shane Sims, who called the shared intelligence “gold.” “You can cash it in,” he added.
General Keith B. Alexander, Director of the NSA, Chief of the Central Security Service and Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, announced he was leaving the NSA on October 16, 2013. As the keynote speaker of the Billington CyberSecurity‘s 4th Annual Summit, now wants to expand espionage and intelligence-sharing with the domestic and foreign private sector to “real time,” “at network speed.” He says this “shared situational awareness” could be stripped of personally identifiable information, but that claim is not credible in light of past practices.
The problem is that this massive data tracking enables government and banking elites to persecute and eliminate perceived “enemies.” “Threat interventions” could turn individuals and companies into “unpersons,” with no funds, no identity. The money moguls and spymasters will develop programs to profit from intelligence and anticipated “crimes” of the competition. How long will it be before the NSA and financial firms collude to entrap “terrorist suspects,” with both profiting from the setup?
SIGNS OF RESISTANCE
But while the Trotskyite federal government in D.C. and Zionist international bankers tighten their stranglehold on Americans, there are also some hopeful signs of resistance from individual states.
Arizona State Senator Dr. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), announced that she will introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act during the 2014 legislative session. Based on model legislation from the OffNow coalition, the bill would prevent state and local government agencies, including government-owned utilities, from providing “any material support” to the NSA. Public universities could not serve NSA recruiting or research purposes, while sanctions would be applied against private corporations attempting to meet NSA needs not filled because of the absence of state cooperation. Finally, the act would make NSA-gathered information, collected without a search warrant, inadmissible in state courts.
In a press release, Dr. Ward stated, “I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant.”
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.