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

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Democrats 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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Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (5, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163585)

Hope and "look at all that change left in your bank account"

I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message.

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163651)

i find this comment completely irrelevant to the post, can you explain?

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (5, Informative)

Garridan (597129) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163723)

He campaigned for "hope" and "change". FP was making a pun. To me, it's ironic that Obama originally campaigned for increased transparency... libs interpreted that as "the government will be transparent to us" but now Obama's like "Sic! Citizens are transparent to the government!"

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (5, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163779)

There's a great Soviet Russia joke in there somewhere.

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (5, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163791)

In Soviet Russia, YOU spy on the GOVERNMENT!

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164007)

He campaigned for "hope" and "change". FP was making a pun. To me, it's ironic that Obama originally campaigned for increased transparency... libs interpreted that as "the government will be transparent to us" but now Obama's like "Sic! Citizens are transparent to the government!"

... I THINK you mean "Psych". Sic means... something you didn't mean. I think.

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (5, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164039)

Knowing this was a mistake, you should have quoted "Sic[sic]!..."

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164029)

Hey...ya'll voted for him.

I guess another benefit of this will be, they can now much more easily see who the big contributors are, and if they aren't giving to your campaign (or after campaign organization to keep paying for access to the White House through Organizing for Action [huffingtonpost.com] ) then you must be looked at as supporter of people against you.

I"m guessing this is a cleverly disguised tool to help persecute your enemies, as that I'm reasonable sure this data doesn't have the strict need to see regulations that say, medical data like HIPAA gets.

But hey, in the larger picture, this is no surprise, I mean, he went back and voted for protections on the telcos from the unwarranted wiretaps starting from his predecessor and continuing on.

And he's also hesitant to say they'd never use a drone to take a US citizen out on US soil....and....

Well, like the earlier post said, how's the hope and change working out for ya?

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164147)

And he's also hesitant to say they'd never use a drone to take a US citizen out on US soil....and....

You must have missed the follow up.

Dear Senator Paul:

        It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional qustion: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.

Sincerely,
Eric Holder

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164185)

how's the hope and change working out for ya?

Just great. My 401K has more than doubled since Bush tanked the economy, my taxable investment portfolio is up over 3x, my company (I built that, BTW, but I do recognize the infrastructure it relies on) has been doing great. Giving the CIA/NSA access to the same database the FBI has long had unfettered access to doesn't really cause me any grief. C'est la vie.

How's that Romney landslide working out for ya?

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (4, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164253)

"Well, like the earlier post said, how's the hope and change working out for ya?"

Terribly. And yet, marginally better than what was promised by his opposition:

Romney on drone attacks -- "I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.” [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-05/why-drones-stayed-out-of-sight-in-the-2012-campaign.html]

Romney on military cuts -- "This is unacceptable. And the idea of shrinking our active duty personnel by 100,000 or 200,000 — I want to add 100,000 to active duty personnel." [http://cnsnews.com/news/article/romney-decries-military-cuts-obama-talking-jobs]

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163749)

If you need an explanation then you are as dumb as rocks... Clearly, you voted for Obama.

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163991)

Or he could have voted for Romney. Anyone who thought he'd be an improvement is naive. It was heads they win tails we're screwed. That's the beautiful two party system for you. Two fucked choices both backed by banks and hollywierd.

Re:Forgotten 2012 campaign poster (0, Flamebait)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164239)

That's the beautiful two party system for you. Two fucked choices both backed by banks and hollywierd.

Fucking hell.
The banks are certainly not endorsing the limits the Obama Administration keeps trying to place on them.
It's almost like there wasn't a global recession kicked off by endemic banking fraud, quickly followed by Republicans who've done their damndest to stifle regulatory solutions to keep it all from happening again.

Letâ(TM)s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-04-27/opinions/35453898_1_republican-party-party-moves-democratic-party [washingtonpost.com]

There are plenty of big bright lines composed of objective factors which leave little or no room for interpretation.
Anyone still pushing "both parties are bad" needs to pull their head out of their asshole.

Ha! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163699)

Suck It! all you Obama bootlickers.

You are getting what you voted for and what anyone who paid attention knew was coming.

Holy shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163825)

Even GWB now seems closer to being like Ron Paul in comparison to Obama.

Re:Holy shit! (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164035)

He's the one that started all this Gestapo stuff. President Obama is just Bush 2.0 except for some of the liberal stuff like a gay army and unisex marriages they look pretty much the same. Just enough to divide and conquer the American people on knee jerk social issues that keep them from focusing on how their freedoms are being stripped just a little at a time. All in the name of keeping us all safe.

Sure why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163593)

Why not allow every agency access to our entire lives!? Why not throw away the rights we already have in the name of terrorism fighting? Notice how when the financial documents of celebrities and politicians were hacked, law enforcement jumped as high and hard as they could? Notice how they don't do that with you? There needs to be some common sense rebuilding of the way things are run in Washington. Wipe the slate clean and start over, and that includes every politician and every lobbyist.

Re:Sure why not? (5, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163809)

From TFA:

Financial institutions file more than 15 million "suspicious activity reports" every year, according to Treasury. Banks, for instance, are required to report all personal cash transactions exceeding $10,000, as well as suspected incidents of money laundering, loan fraud, computer hacking or counterfeiting.

They've been able to get this data through the IRS since before any of us were born. If you've ever made a transaction over 10k, they make you go through a bit of a process sometimes. This is the database of that process. It won't have yesterday's starbucks purchase, but it'll have something like the deposit withdrawal you made to put a down payment on your house. So it's not quite entire lives type stuff, but I could've sworn the IRS already did what these agencies are proposing to do, maybe they just suck at it, but the title of the article is over-dramatized in typical slashdot fashion.

Re:Sure why not? (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163865)

They've been able to get this data through the IRS since before any of us were born.

Not quite. I sort of remember that $10,000 reporting law being passed when I was a teenager.

...the title of the article is over-dramatized in typical slashdot fashion.

Yup.

Re:Sure why not? (0)

logjon (1411219) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163863)

We'll get to that part.

Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batteries (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163609)

and some duct-tape at your local Home Depot, and I guarantee you you'll be flagged as a terrorist. Thinking of paying for things in cash to avoid that? That looks suspicious too these days.

Welcome to the Vater^H^H^H^H^HHomeland Americans. Enjoy your civil liberties while you can...

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163637)

Pretty soon withdrawing more than $50 from an ATM will be a precrime.

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163745)

Yes - evasion of bank profits.

If you do withdraw and can afford it, take the daily maximum.
That gives the minimum possible profit to the banks that charge for a transaction.

You should always have a buffer of cash in case of disaster.
Just think - how are you going to buy supplies if there's a power outage that lasts weeks?

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163859)

I agree with your statements. The answer to your question on where am I going to get my supplies is 'from my neighbor who doesn't believe in gun ownership and thinks the cops will show during a crisis.'

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164179)

Hmm... Not sure whether to mod Funny, or Insightful...

-- CanHasDIY

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164223)

Pretty soon withdrawing more than $50 from an ATM will be a precrime.

"This ATM charges a $50 fee to access accounts outside the network. This fee covers a mandatory background check and credit report before you may receive funds. This fee does not include any hefty sums your bank may charge for wanting to access your own money."

"Please press OK to accept, place your thumb on the print reader pad and look into the retinal scanner to continue."

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163813)

Does the credit/debit card processor actually get this information? I live in Canada, and I know for a fact that purchase specifics are not part of the transaction data or record. The only things that get sent over the wire and logged are the total value of the purchase and the time. The most information anyone can extract is that you spent $20.42 at Home Depot at some particular time - that's it. To get more than that, you'd have to get into Home Depot's logs, and they likely don't attach credit card identifiers to lists of items purchased either.

In any case, this makes buying things at hydroponic and chemical stores suspicious, yes, but in a general sense, it's not much to worry about. Maybe the processing systems log more in the USA, I don't know.

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164093)

If they haven't done it already, I'm sure they will soon do something like the following: We will lower the transactions fees for using debit/credit cards if you send us a list of items sold. (doesn't have to be with the transaction, just some time later would be sufficient, i.e. on a weekly or monthly basis). Though, now that I think about it more, it will go: We will RAISE the transaction fees unless you share the list of items sold...

Re:Buy a bag of nails, a bottle of propane, batter (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163845)

That would be awesome to do just for the fun of adding a false positive, but then I realized I have no damn use for the propane. I grill with charcoal (tastes better; sorry, Hank Hill). I hate the police state as much as anyone, but you're talking about wasting money! Let's not get carried away.

And you said... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163617)

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

There may still be some money stashed in a mattres (3, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163619)

somewhere, and he wants it!

Obama administration - making sure you're broke and enforcing it in every way possible!
(unless you're a campaign contributor of course, then you get "stimulus")

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (3, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163805)

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!

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164017)

Mod here - We have to equalize out all of the Karma. (Actually I up-modded both of you)

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164139)

You keep using that word. [Communism] I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (0)

dissy (172727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163915)

Yea, I'm likely going to be on a terrorist list.

After being screwed over by three different banks six different times, I simply stopped using them a few years ago. My record suddenly stops and disappears. Oh noz, eye iz da sus-pissed-us!

Well look on the bright side, at least the men in dark glasses and suits I will be meeting in my near future won't be a complete surprise.

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (2)

supervillainsf (820395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164049)

Out of curiosity, could you expand on how you do it. Cash only seems like a difficult proposition with car/rent/mortgage/paychecks etc. Thanks in advance

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (2)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164227)

Good question.

The only reason I stick with the bank I have is I've paid my child support with it over the years and I want to keep doing it this way so I can prove it on down the line. I actually started with a different bank, but buyouts/mergers, what have you. I liked the bank I signed up with.

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164265)

Suddenly terrorists seem like the lesser of two evils.

Re:There may still be some money stashed in a matt (4, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164085)

You can always call up Romney and ask him which Island Bank he's keeping his money in. That way it'll be safe from prying eyes, including the worlds largest and most vicious collection agency the IRS.

There goes the 4th Amendment (-1, Troll)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163635)

It's only a matter of time before someone tries to assasinate this treasonous monster.

Though, I'd be a lot more satisfied if her were tried, convicted, and lawfully executed for treason.

Yeah, yeah, put me on one of your damn lists.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (1)

1800maxim (702377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163681)

It's only a matter of time before someone tries to assasinate this treasonous monster.

Why? He does the work of all the special interest groups. He would be in danger of being assassinated only if he didn't.

:)

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164117)

As long as the dribbling idiot Joe Biden is VP then he's as safe as can be. Even the KKK would rather have Obama as President.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (5, Insightful)

lostmongoose (1094523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163831)

I realize facts are anathema to political discourse, but the president doesn't operate in a vacuum. Congress has just as much, if not more, blame than either Bush or Obama have. The sooner people see this, the sooner the messes can be cleaned up. Too bad it won't happen as long as The People are more concerned with Facebook, Twitter, et al.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163843)

Certain interesting financial transactions have been reported on for quite some time. This predates both Obama and Bush II. The only thing new here is perhaps the idea that people are actually looking at the information we've been collecting pretty much forever.

You're pretty tardy if you are trying to get your panties in a bunch over this situation.

Yeah, if they collect it they are going to data mine it sooner or later. That's pretty obvious. That's why you don't create the data to begin with.

Horse left the barn and the barn burned down there a long time ago.

Although I wouldn't mind getting back the $500 and $1000 bills what with inflation being what it is.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (2)

gewalker (57809) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164097)

Got news for you, eliminating the $100 bill has been proposed occasionally as no-one has a need for such large money clips. Benefits said to include reduced drug traffic / organized crime due to larger stacks of cash needed with lower denomination currency and reduced counterfeiting -- as if N. Korea can't counterfeit a 20 dollar bill.

Real reason likely includes pushing toward a cashless society where all transactions can be tracked.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164241)

I'll stick to my Wal... I mean money suitcase.

Re:There goes the 4th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164235)

It's only a matter of time before someone tries to assasinate this treasonous monster.

I'm sorry, are you referring to a particular individual, or the federal government itself?

(Suddenly picturing the Capitol Building rising from the ground and being accosted by the tiny humans below, a la Shadow of the Colossus... BITCHIN)

When they're done scouring my finances (3, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163641)

I better see them shine!

Fourth Admentment Anyone? (2)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163653)

Just asking ...

Re:Fourth Admentment Anyone? (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164037)

Classic 4th amendment, but the 4th has been raped for about 30 years now in the name of the War on Drugs with no complaints. NYC allows stop-and-frisk which is by the letter a violation of the 4th as are most unwarranted searches by law enforcement. It's simple, you can't search me, my house, my car, or my records without a warrant. But, every time a big bad drug dealer gets away "on a technicality" people agree to turn the other way and allow laws to encroach just a bit further on our rights.

Re:Fourth Admentment Anyone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164099)

Just asking ...

Your question implies the invalid assumption that the constitution is still followed.

Re:Fourth Admentment Anyone? (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164273)

When Obama ran for President the first time around, he promised repeatedly to end warantless wiretapping and protect our privacy. During the same campaign, he actually voted as a senator to extend warantless wiretapping. When called out on this outright lie, he said he no choice, because the bill would pass either way. Frankly, this is a stupid excuse. If it would pass either way, what harm would there be in being honest and voting against it like he said he would?

Then once in the White House, one of his first Executive Orders was actually to extend the power of the program. We also know have warrantless GPS tracking and spy drones over US soil.

The argument for voting for Obama was in theory that we couldn't afford a Republican candidate because they would do these things. The reality is that blinding voting either party often turns out bad.

Look at the records of the past three Presidents and you'll see that they don't fall into traditional party stereotypes:

George W. Bush
* He spent like mad and created new government bureacracy (Homeland Security). A Republican spent more and supported Bigger Government.
* Created a tax credit for solar panels and hybrid cars. A Republican was anti-oil and pro-environment.
* Increased stem cell research. Pro-science (and Republicans are supposed to be anti-stem-cells!)
* Increased NASA budget. Pro-science!
* Passed clean air and water acts in his first 100 days (after Clinton promised to for 8 years and didn't)
* Penalized US automakers who didn't make hybrids
* Pushed for higher fuel economy standards (Democrats pushed a much weaker version that Bush called for and oddly enough Obama fully supported Bush as a senator on this)
* Helped prevent a war in Liberia and negotiated for a dictator to step down without bullets being fired
* Argued immediately after 9/11 that we not blame Iraq and argued that people who were calling for war in Iraq should wait for facts to come out
* Supported an open/transparent commission to study 9/11 with the full report being released to the public

Before him, Clinton:

* Bombed 4 countries without asking Congress for approval
* Compromised with Newt Gingrinch to cut government spending to balance the budget. Yep, a Democrat worked towards smaller government.
* Refused to push through clean air/water acts that were written and just waiting for a push despite promising to do so
* Declared "banks were too big to fail" and pushed for what was then considered an illegal merger with Citbank and Travellers Insurance (by getting rid of the Glass-Steagall law thusly now making it legal). After this, Citigroup hired a bunch of politicians as lobbyists, and Clinton appointed Citigroup employees to government positions. Seriously.
* Was accused of undisclosed massive donations not only from corporations that he hid, but also from the Chinese government. Hillary Clinton was then later also caught taking donations from the Chinese government. Seriously.

Obama:

* Refused to release the White House emails he promised to release when in office (despite all these claims of transparency)
* Filled his cabinet with lobbyists after promising no Washington old-guard and no lobbyists
* Screams about paying taxes when half his cabinet has been busted for not paying taxes
* Supported an additional bail out with no real controls on how the money was handled by big banks, allowing CEOs who created the crisis to steal tax payer dollars
* Refused to disclose where his big online campaign donations came from and won't support campaign transparency
* Created warrantless GPS tracking and has spy drones on US soil
* Promised to close Gitmo
* His means of ending detainee torture was to order prisoners to be killed rather than kept in war. Real humane there.
* Sent troops to Libya and Yemen when both Congress and the public opposed it
* Cut NASA funding and cancelled missions

If you dig deeper into other politicians, you'll see this all the time. Harry Reid is one of the most prominent Democrats but he is pro-guns, pro-life, supported the war in Iraq heavily, supports spying on the public, had made repeated racist comments, and is by most accounts a fundamentalist Mormon.

Likewise Chuck Hagel calls himself a Republican, and is a Democrat by most of his policies.

You can't vote blindly by party, nor trust most people in Washington to care about the Constitution or your best interests.

We need media that hold individual politicians accountable, and educated voters who care about issues rather than blind party devotion.

Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163655)

Total surveillance is the road to hell. Once the people have reached a suitable level of fear, those in power can do anything and everything. It does not take long to start killing off those deemed "undesired". Or better, lock them up and have the other pay for that. Already happening? Maybe the US voters are asleep at the wheel?

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163719)

Maybe the US voters are asleep at the wheel?

How you can you accuse them of being asleep at thw wheel when both the parties they can choose do the same sort of shenanigans? The only option they seem to have is the face on the TV that tells them nice stories while at the same time stripping away their civil liberties.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163833)

How you can you accuse them of being asleep at thw wheel when both the parties they can choose do the same sort of shenanigans?

Newsflash: there are more than 2 parties in the US [wikipedia.org] . Most Americans are too uneducated or too brainwashed by television to realize that though...

So no, the voting public isn't asleep at the wheel, more like sitting dazed and dribbling in complete stupor in front of it.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164101)

The emergence of two extremely dominant parties is a logical consequence of the electoral system. It is for all reasonable intents physically impossible to change substantially alter the composition of the legislature by voting. You would have to individually alter the laws of each component state to accomplish that.

It has nothing at all to do with the education of the electorate, though it feels good to blame the failings on all-those-stupid-sheep. If anything, a significant number of voters, educated or not well intentioned or ill, defecting to third parties would arbitrarily strengthen one or the other of the dominant parties, with the result that the third party would ultimately be consumed, functionally or factually (and nearly certainly, quickly -- see the "Tea Party") , by the closer of the other two.

It is the way it is because it is explicitly designed to guarantee it.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163877)

Other parties exist. It is the very twisted ideology of voting for the "winner" to "win" your election not unlike reality tv shows instead of voting with your heart. Add to that the medias who only cover the two flavors of corporate dictatorial parties to protect their friends and interest and you have a completely sick and twisted "democracy". Good luck with that, I am moving to sealand!

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163727)

Maybe the US voters are asleep at the wheel?

You just noticed? How quaint.

There hasn't been a totally honest or sane US president since Eisenhower...

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163823)

Maybe the US voters are asleep at the wheel?

You just noticed? How quaint.

There hasn't been a totally honest or sane US president since Eisenhower...

What makes you think that Eisenhower was honest and sane?

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (5, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164043)

What makes you think that Eisenhower was honest and sane?

The military-industrial complex speech [youtube.com] . That alone tells me the man worked for his country, not for money or power, that he had the insight to pinpoint the danger to the country, and the balls to denounce it publicly.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

fsagx (1936954) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164193)

What makes you think that Eisenhower was honest and sane?

The military-industrial complex speech [youtube.com] . That alone tells me the man worked for his country, not for money or power, that he had the insight to pinpoint the danger to the country, and the balls to denounce it publicly.

...But not the balls to do anything about it while he still could -- while he was still the president. Perhaps he was smart enough to see a Dallas motorcade in his future had he done so.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

gewalker (57809) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164125)

Calvin Coolidge (R) or Grover Cleveland (D) if you were actually looking for the most recent mostly honest politician of each party.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163973)

"It does not take long to start killing off those deemed "undesired"."

Since Eric Holder says that it's legal to use drones to target US citizens on US soil, the roadblocks to accomplish just that seem to have been cleared.

Re:Relevant: History of Germany and the USSR (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164213)

Idea: let's try an experiment next election and vote in the primaries for anyone who is willing to stand up to the police state.

I know most of you are convinced of the theory that voting is a sham, that the only candidates we're allowed to vote for in the general election are the same on issues that matter to you. I'm not quite clear as to the mechanism for how that theory works. Seems to me that the names on the ballot are picked by a small conspiracy of people, but those people aren't a shadowy board of puppetmasters, they're the few people who bother to drag their asses to vote in the primaries. Ron Paul could have gotten on the ballot, and I doubt he would have done this.

So how about we actually test it? If most people register and vote in the primary for someone who says "Enough, rights are more important than chasing boogeymen," and then we still don't get to vote for him or her to be president, then we can know for certain that voting is a waste of time, and can either move elsewhere or overthrow whoever it is yall think are pulling the strings. If we however do successfully elect someone who rolls back the police state, then we all win.

And if we once again fail to bother to vote in the primary for anyone who will uphold our rights, then maybe we should conclude that we've been getting the government that we deserve.

Cue the apologists (5, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163677)

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.

LK

Re:Cue the apologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163789)

Everyone knows Obama is worse than Bush, but Mitt Romney would have been even more terrible.

People voted for Obama because he was the least-worst choice. By no means does that make him a good choice or what we wanted.

Re:Cue the apologists (4, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163883)

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.

LK

Re:Cue the apologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164087)

Actually, there were good choices among the ones running, but instead of voting for a third party because the 2 big ones labelled them un-electable and they would throw their vote away if they chose them (Hint, they wouldn't if people would quit thinking like that), they decided to literally throw their vote away on people they did not want just because they were told they were the only two who stood a chance, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy,

I didn't vote at all last election and I still voted better than the ones who voted who they didn't want in. Think about that, not voting at all was still better than how most registered voters voted against their own interests.

Re:Cue the apologists (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163955)

Yet again, Obama ceases to surprise me. Anyone who wasn't dazzled by the "hope and change" saw this coming a mile away. I can understand people being fooled the first time around. It was the charismatic yet relatively unknown Obama vs. John "Bush squared" McCain.

Then Obama turned out to be Bush cubed. He continued exactly the same policies that Bush put in place, then added his own touch by maxing out the taxpayer's credit card several times trying to fix the economy with no better results than could easily be explained by the economy recovering on its own, pushing through a health care law that basically merged the worst parts of American and European style systems with almost none of the benefits, increased domestic spying to a level that would have had Bush salivating, claimed the right to kill citizens with drones, and now wants to peek in on all our bank accounts.

Anyone who voted for Obama deserves exactly what they get. It's just too bad they had to drag me into all this. Can't I just opt out of all this nonsense and take my chances with the terrorists?

Re:Cue the apologists (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163965)

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.

LK

It would be even nicer if people understood that we have this thing called Congress, and that THEY are the ones who passed the laws which require your bank to report this activity in the first place.

"legal experts emphasize that this sharing of data is permissible under U.S. law. Specifically, banks' suspicious activity reporting requirements are dictated by a combination of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act"

If you really must bitch, at least bitch about the right people. You retards are busy attacking what is essentially a Straw Man who will be gone forever in a few years, while the goons who actually are trashing your liberties keep getting elected term after term. It's not an especially clever plan, but it works every damn time... Congress gives power to the President to decide to implement an unpopular policy, he takes the blame and all you fucking idiots eat it up like candy.
It's not the President's fucking budget, it's Congress's budget. It's not the President's Law... it's Congress's law. If you mental midgets can't figure this shit out it's never going to change.

Re:Cue the apologists (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164103)

Congress votes it yes, they are to blame just as much, but obama COULD veto, yet he wont. Besides the president is in charge, the one in charge is always held responsible.

Re:Cue the apologists (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164009)

Even if people realize it, doesn't matter. In 2015 they'll throw some bones (like they did in 2011), run some ads tapping themselves on the shoulder and people will vote for them again. Attention span is too short to remember things that happened more than a couple weeks ago.

Re:Cue the apologists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164015)

Ok I'll bite. The data in question are reports of suspicious financial activities: e.g. more than $10k in transactions in a single day, which are required by law to be reported to FinCEN. This data has been readily available to the FBI without getting a warrant since around 1990. All the other spy agencies currently have access to this data, though they have to go through the FBI instead of accessing it directly.

The rationale for the Administration's move, from the article, is that they are following the provisions and guidance of the Patriot Act, signed into law by Bush.

The Patriot Act, while deplorable, is US law. It's been pretty clear after the first few years of Obama's presidency that he isn't interested in dumping it.

I agree that Obama deserves criticism here, but I wonder if this move is simply codifying what has been already happening for decades.

Re:Cue the apologists (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164051)

I won't say Obama isn't screwing up, but lets not forget what happened from 2001-2008.

Re:Cue the apologists (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164197)

via Glenn Greenwald [twitlonger.com] :

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 http://is.gd/5tKFC4,http://is.gd/GrHG86 [is.gd] , http://is.gd/FpAt7a [is.gd] , http://is.gd/kNa9D0 [is.gd] , http://is.gd/CmXP4F [is.gd] ). 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.

Why bother? (1, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163705)

We already know who the financial terrorists are that are the biggest threat to our economy and national security. And they're all Obama donors.

Why does Obama need a financial monitoring network when he can't bother to throw Lloyd Blankfein in jail for well established fraud, perjury, and racketeering?

And people wonder... (4, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163771)

And people wonder why gun owners don't want the Feds to have a central database with all of our names, addresses, etc. in it. I'm all for background checks, but I'll be damned if I let the government develop a database they can "scour" like this for whatever purposes they deem fit in some nebulous future where the party I trust the *least* is in power.

Misleading Headline (5, Informative)

Que914 (1042204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163773)

While I don't really approve of this change it's not nearly as bad as the headline suggests. This doesn't mean that the CIA will have instant access to your bank transactions. Banks are required to file reports for specific suspicious conditions that are associated with money laundering and other financial scams. What they're talking about is giving the other agencies unfettered access to the database (FBI already has unfettered access).

Not good news, but not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Re:Misleading Headline (4, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163905)

This is slashdot. If we can't spin it into "OMG Obama/MS/Apple/Patents/Republicans are evil and spying on us and there is no freedom" it's not worth mentioning.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164115)

This. FTFA:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database. However, intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, currently have to make case-by-case requests for information to FinCEN.

So the FBI can already access the database; Obama's just giving the CIA and the NSA the same access. The Slashdot headline (which is the same as the Reuters headline) blows it way out of proportion.

$10,000 (2)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163829)

Exactly why are transactions over $10,000 considered suspicious and cataloged by the government?

Re:$10,000 (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163917)

I don't know. My in-laws needed 100k to buy a house so they got 10 10k cashier's checks from the bank cause the teller couldn't give them one check for more than 10k...

Re:$10,000 (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164005)

That's not true. I've taken out a cashier's check far in excess of $10K without any issue.

Re:$10,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164245)

It's only cash that causes banks to freak out, and by "freak out" I mean force you to fill out government paperwork before you can have it.

Re:$10,000 (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164069)

I don't know. My in-laws needed 100k to buy a house so they got 10 10k cashier's checks from the bank cause the teller couldn't give them one check for more than 10k...

That is probably a bank policy and has nothing to do with suspicious transactions. You can go to the bank and ask for $100k in cash and, if they have it, they can legally give it to you. You just have to fill out a bunch of paperwork for any transaction greater than $9999.99. The purpose is to help combat money laundering. Its a whole heck of a lot harder to move around a bunch of cash if you can only deal with $9999.99 of it at a time. Or you just go out and buy a casino, which can easily launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash per day.

Re:$10,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164089)

That's called structuring, and the banks have to report that too.

Re:$10,000 (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164059)

That's been the "OMG it must be for drugz" cut-off since the War on Drugs started.

Re:$10,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164183)

Back when a new car cost less than $10k the government figured anybody moving more than that much cash must surely be involved in drugs and/or money laundering.

Re:$10,000 (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164247)

Exactly why are transactions over $10,000 considered suspicious and cataloged by the government?

However, transactions over $10,000,000 will not be reported by the bank to the government. If you have that kind of money to push around, you are an important and profitable customer, and the bank will use all kinds of bizarre financial instruments to ensure that the Feds never get a whiff of the transaction.

Hell, if you tell the bank that you want to burn down their building, they will give you a match.

What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163835)

You voted for it. Obama kept you uptight thinking that if you didn't vote for him that Romney would win. Romney kept you uptight thinking that if you didn't vote for him that Obama would win. They were essentially the same person, at least when it came to civil liberties. America got what it deserved by another round of electing dumb and dumber and hoping that the outcome would automagically be different from all the times that they elected dumb and dumber over the past few decades.
 
What I'm waiting for next is the fall out from ObamaCare to get the Democrats really crying about the middle class being gutted "by big corporations." I'll be disgusted to be in the cheering section along side of the Republicans but it'll still be an amusing ride for what it's worth.
 
Not until there isn't room left in the bread lines will we see real change in this nation. Until then all you can do is laugh and try to stay one step ahead of Joe Sixpack.

Oh, fucking hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163867)

Fuck this fucking fuck.

Huh. (4, Insightful)

Ira Sponsible (713467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43163879)

I just always assumed they were already doing this.

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163903)

Financial transparency will simply tend to put crooks in prison. If you are a dope dealer your banking and spending habits might be really hard to explain. Economic crimes in themselves justify scrutiny of all of us.

Musical Chairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43163961)

Ever get the feeling that the political elite in the US are playing a giant game of musical chairs? That at the moment of collapse, when the Star Spangled Banner finally stops playing, whichever fucked up party is in charge is ready to sit their asses down and get right to business of becoming the latest tyrannical dictatorship.

The checks and balances were broken with the 17th amendment. That was the first chair to be removed from the game.

We are the Obama administration (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164001)

And all your finance are belong to us.

Seriously -- is there anyone here who doesn't see yet
that the worst turns that history could make (in many
respects), it made /because/ Obama came along?

Re:We are the Obama administration (1)

gewalker (57809) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164251)

I'm a a serious conservative. The last president I liked was Calvin Coolidge -- and I am afraid to learn more about him as it could ruin my good opinion of him -- last good Democrat President was Grover Cleveland. Every one of them since Coolidge should have been impeached and tossed out of office for violation of oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Same thing applies to nearly all judges and congresscritters too.

George W. Bush was in some ways worse than Obama. Look at the rate of spending increase under Bush 43 - worse than Obama. Look at the Medicare expansion worse than Obamacare (in terms of spending). Obama worse in other ways. Both parties are horid. Worse, they make the political rules so that it is very difficult to get a different party elected. In most years, the real election in most districts is the primary. The outcome of the general election rarely changes the party affiliation.

The obligatory (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164055)

I told you so.

Big Suprise (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164181)

I am sure they have been doing this for years and years - but now since we live in a system that has figured out they can get away with nearly anything - why not come clean. After all we are just sheep, they are the shepherd.

Priorities, people. (3, Interesting)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | about a year and a half ago | (#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?

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