If you are like many immigrants who send money back home frequently to relatives and loved-ones, you’d better realize that the US government, namely the CIA, is collecting money transfer information, under the Patriot Act. Still, is anyone surprised this is going on? Not me.
A person familiar with the program said the agency’s efforts are an outgrowth of terror finance-tracking programs that were established in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and revealed that al Qaeda funded the hijackers using methods such as smuggled cash, money transfers, and credit and debit cards.
The Treasury Department and the National Security Agency have other programs that similarly focus on financial transaction data. The CIA program provides some redundancies intended to catch transactions that may not draw attention in other programs.
The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times first reported the existence of the CIA program Thursday night, saying it has sparked concerns from lawmakers.
The CIA program focuses on transfers that the agency believes could be the source of terrorism financing and that use services such as MoneyGram and Western Union. The vast majority are purely non-U.S. transactions, but it includes some transactions to or from the United States.
Such U.S.-related transactions could raise concerns about data of U.S. people, which the CIA is generally prohibited from collecting. Source: CNN
No matter what you do, Big Brother is watching every move you make. Thanks to the lawmakers who didn’t bother reading the Patriot Act documentation before they gladly voted for its enactment.
This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.