Author Topic: your big brother  (Read 560 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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your big brother
« on: August 07, 2005, 10:04:00 PM »
By Andrew S. Fischer

Republished from LewRockwell.com

"Every bank, every brokerage house, every financial institution in the U.S. is required by the Patriot Act to appoint an AML Officer"

Having been recently appointed Anti-Money Laundering Officer at my investment firm, I now have the official, government-sanctioned power to scrutinize our clients? account activity and report almost anything I deem ?suspicious activity? to the federal government. Be worried, friends ? be very worried ? since every bank, every brokerage house, every financial institution in the U.S. is required by the Patriot Act to appoint an AML Officer, enact procedures to combat money-laundering, and file Suspicious Activity Reports on U.S. citizens. You can view the 4-page SAR-SF form here.
The Act?s definition of a financial institution is disturbingly broad. It includes dealers in precious metals, stones, or jewels; pawnbrokers; loan or finance companies; insurance companies; travel agencies; telegraph companies; sellers of vehicles, including automobiles, airplanes, and boats. Essentially, it means your financial transactions are subject to investigation if you purchase an engagement ring, insure your home, take a vacation or buy a car.
According to the statute, if I simply should have become aware of suspicious activity and fail to report it, I may have broken the law. So, if I have a head cold one day and miss a $5,000 wire transfer on a client?s brokerage statement ? which is clearly suspicious activity since this client is a 90-year-old widow living on fixed-income investments, who has never made a wire transfer in ten years ? I could be in trouble. (Don?t laugh ? this applies not just to the AML Officer, but to every employee in a financial organization in a position to view client transactions. So, if you make an unusually large deposit at the bank one day, your teller must report this potential ?suspicious activity? to higher ups or face possible sanctions.)
As AML Officer, I am required to report a client?s activity as suspicious if it merely fails to make business sense or appears to be without economic purpose. So, if a client transfers $10,000 into his investment account and breathlessly says ?Buy gold stocks!? an hour after Alan Greenspan and Fox News proclaim ?Scientists Prove All Gold on Earth is Iron Pyrite,? I have to turn him in.
If a client is a young school teacher and deposits, say, five $2,000 checks over a period of ten days, she must be questioned about it. Since this might be perfectly normal for a middle-aged, high-income surgeon, however, I wouldn?t have to question her at all ? thus lower-income clients will necessarily suffer more intrusions into their privacy than those who earn more. By the way, as AML Officer I?m safe-harbored against violations of privacy laws I may be forced to commit while adhering to the regulations of the Patriot Act.
It gets worse. As I?ve noted, clients are to be questioned ? and then reported to the feds on Form SAR-SF if I don?t like their answers ? if their transactions indicate suspicious activity. But it does not end there ? I?m also required to be on the lookout for potential tax evasion (as well as check fraud, embezzlement, theft, identity theft or mail fraud). So, if a client deposits $1,000 which he states he won by betting $1,000 on the Super Bowl, and wants to buy his daughter a Treasury bond with that money, I?m obligated by federal law to rat him out. Of course, all of this is just the tip of the Patriot Act iceberg; see, e.g., Outside View: Patriot Act Problems.
I find this situation repulsive in the extreme. It is Orwell?s 1984, slightly delayed. It will result in a paranoia explosion reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany. What if the Super Bowl bettor in the above example later hears from another person that I will probably file an SAR-SF about his $1,000 deposit? Will he then, out of fear, report it on his tax return ? the government?s secondary desired end? Or will he just phone me and say he made ?that betting thing? up? Then what do I do? Will he contact me and beg or threaten me to keep silent? Then what do I do? What if the bettor is my own father? Then what do I do!?
I?m already an unpaid tax collector for the federal government, since I prepare my firm?s payroll, and now, without my consent, I?m also its unpaid law enforcement agent and informant. I can only wonder, fearfully, what comes next.

August 6, 2005


?Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.?

ben franklin
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Offline Anonymous

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your big brother
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2005, 10:15:00 PM »
Thanks for the heads up bro.  That Patriot act is truly fucked up.  Bush is a fascist.  Orwell was a genius and we are in a lot of trouble.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 01:04:00 AM »
Andrew Fischer was speaking figuratively, I hope. I hope that banking people will refuse to commit crimes on their fellow human beings, irregardless of what the Federal Law is. They should get together and all agree to protest by refusing to follow this law. Kind of like how the library folks got together on the Government spying into people's book lists.

People, we all make up this society. If we "obligate ourselves" to laws that are unethical, who are we? Be conscious of your role in the fascism. Did you sign that "Privacy Act" at your pharmacist the last time you picked up a prescription? My form of civil protest against that particular Orwellian set of rules regarding other people's access to my private medical records is to refuse to sign it. I should be telling the pharmacist: "I will do business with you if my medical information stays between you, me and the prescribing doctor. Any information given to my insurance company is limited to the minimum needed to process a single claim." Make the pharmacist sign something!

If you have a job at a bank or a library or any institution that is affected by the Patriot Act, what is happening right now? Are people complying with the Fascist Tyrants? Are people afraid? It is time we started owning our own communities.

The expectation of lack of privacy is a key thing that was happening as the Nazis emerged in Germany. I haven't finished reading about this yet, but I got an interesting book called _The Ominous Parallels_ by Leonard Peikoff.
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Offline Anonymous

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your big brother
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 10:59:00 AM »
wow!!
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Offline Antigen

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your big brother
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 12:25:00 PM »
Are you really surprised? Folks, this has been going on for a long, long time! When I first stumbled onto an open gofer server dialup (pre www internet browser) in around `93 or so, the first thing I discovered was that the feds were busy, busy, busy trying to prevent a free and open internet from ever happening. The big stories were the AAA BBS case involving an adult BBS in Cali being persecuted (no typo) by the Postal Inspectors office in, I think, Memphis. It was a test case to see if they could impose Memphis community standards on a business in Cali. The other big story was Phil Zimmerman being prosecuted on international arms export charges for having released PGP public key encryption technology for free to anybody who wanted it.

Those were the good old Clinton years. Think Bubba was ever a lover of freedom and privacy? Think again. Googlie clipper chip and v-chip and see what comes up from those good old daze.

But it's nice that ppl are starting to notice and take exception to these issues.

The function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. It ought to
serve as a forum for the people, through which the people may know freely what is going on. To misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust.
--Mr. Justice Brandeis

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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 01:39:00 AM »
No, i am not surprised in the least.  Only shocked that so many people still think that the American flag still represents freedom and liberty.
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Offline starry-eyed pirate

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your big brother
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 01:42:00 AM »
"All governments oppress" - V.I.Lenin, Russian revolutionary (1870-1924)
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If you would have justice in this world, then begin to see that a human being is not a means to some end.  People are not commodities.  When human beings are just to one another government becomes obsolete and real freedom is born; SPIRITUAL ANARCHY.

Offline Nonconformistlaw

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your big brother
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 09:52:00 PM »
The 1st post on this thread is unfortunately accurate. The Patriot Act expanded on laws, in the name of the so-called War on Terror, that were already in existence to combat money laundering.  Scary thing is, I think people will likely enforce these reporting rules whether they agree with them or not because fear of job loss. You know, worried about feeding a family.

Yeah Big Brother is nothing new, but its getting worse and is much more prevalent than that article shows.

Ever heard of the federal government?s use of data mining since 9/11? Truly frightening how much information the government now has on every single one of us. Yup...we are in BIG trouble.  :scared:
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quot;In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.\" George Orwell

Offline Nonconformistlaw

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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 09:58:00 PM »
Data Mining ----Here?s an excerpt from a congressional hearing: Re: Hearing on Data Mining: Current Applications and Future Possibilities

?Data mining is "the process of finding patterns in information contained in large databases."[1] Data mining is employed in different contexts in order to achieve different goals. For instance, data mining is commonly used to detect fraudulent use of credit cards. It has also been employed by companies to detect defective parts in a manufacturing line.

When employed for the limited purposes of fraud detection or product quality, data mining poses little risk to privacy and civil liberties. However, when these systems are employed to evaluate future intent or action, data mining presents serious risks to a distinctly American value: "the right to be let alone." For instance, the Transportation Security Administration is currently developing a data mining system called CAPPS II, the Enhanced Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System. CAPPS II would sift through credit report header information and over one hundred unnamed commercial and government databases to attempt to assess a passenger's risk to a transportation system.
 
Retired Admiral John Poindexter leads a research project at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency that is developing a data mining system similar to CAPPS II. The system, Total Information Awareness, purports to capture the "information signature" of people so that the government can track suspicious persons. The project calls for the development of "revolutionary technology for ultra-large all-source information repositories," which would contain information from multiple sources to create a "virtual, centralized, grand database." This database would be populated by transaction data contained in current databases such as financial records, medical records, communication records, and travel records as well as new sources of information. Also fed into the database would be intelligence data.

These two systems are highly invasive because they are operated by federal agencies, are conducted in secret, draw upon a wide array of data sources, and attempt to predict future human action. These two systems have been made possible by private sector information sources, which have voraciously collected information on individuals.?

See, http://www.epic.org/privacy/profiling/d ... 25.03.html for entire document?
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2005, 10:02:00 PM »
Data Mining ----Here?s another excerpt from an article called CAPPS II (Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System) at People for the American Way website:

?The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans this year to launch a data mining program called the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II). This program would aggregate information from a variety of government and commercial databases in order to create a profile of every airline traveler in the United States. The data would be scanned for any indications of ?suspicious activity,? and passengers would be assigned a risk rating based on the information obtained. Those with the highest risk designation would be prohibited from flying and possibly detained. On February 12, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that TSA had failed to meet certain privacy and due process standards set by Congress. Nonetheless, TSA is likely to move forward with testing the system and perhaps deploying it late in the year unless Congress intervenes.

Data mining programs like CAPPS II pose enormous potential for abuse and the invasion of individuals? privacy. Without adequate safeguards, data mining and the use of that data for profiling individual citizens is an affront to the constitutional principles on which this nation was founded. PFAW believes that governmental efforts to prevent future attacks must be consistent with the American tradition of individual rights and liberties. Under CAPPS II, the federal government for the first time would be in the business of conducting regular background checks on everyday citizens engaged in perfectly routine behavior.

First, airlines will transmit to the TSA passenger reservations lists and other information that includes at a minimum name, address, telephone number, and date of birth. Second, this information will be provided to commercial personal data aggregators ? who compile extensive dossiers about Americans personal lives ? who would check those four pieces of information for consistency with their own files. Based on the matches (or mismatches) these firms will produce an ?authentication score? intended to indicate a confidence level in that passenger?s identity. Third, TSA will perform a risk assessment through an unknown process on each passenger using secret law enforcement, intelligence, or other government databases. Each passenger is assigned a security score (green- passenger can freely board, yellow - passenger needs additional screening at checkpoint, red - detention and law enforcement notified).

Passengers who are assigned codes indicating a heightened level of scrutiny is necessary (yellow, red) will be subject to additional screening, questioning by law enforcement, and possibly temporary detention or arrest. Presumably such passengers will face security procedures that may delay them prevent them from flying entirely. Individuals ?red flagged? by CAPPS II, including for purely legal activity, may be detained and questioned by law enforcement. They will likely be blocked from flying or and possibly even from using other public transportation. Reliance on matches in public and private databases is fraught with risk. Commercial databases for example, are generally not well regulated for accuracy at either the federal or state level.

Governmental databases are also problematic. For example, the FBI?s National Criminal Information Center (?NCIC?), the federal database used by law enforcement, has been the subject of numerous complaints nationwide about wrong information. Some ?red? passengers may be wrongly prevented from flying and unlawfully arrested not because of any connection to terrorism or other criminal activity but because of an outdated police database or because they have the same name as known fugitives. In fact, the GAO?s February 12 report found that TSA has not yet evaluated the accuracy of any of the commercial or governmental databases that it intends to use, nor will it have the authority to correct any errors in commercial or non-TSA governmental databases that it might discover.?

Entire article can be found at http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/defaul ... &units=all
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quot;In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.\" George Orwell