The Obama Administration wants to hand over access to your financial records to the CIA, NSA, and other law enforcement agencies. According to a new report from Reuters, a Treasury Department plan gives spy agencies full access to more raw financial data then ever before, under the guise of national security. Already, financial institutions are required to report “suspicious customer activity” to the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, but spy agencies must make case-by-case requests to access the FinCEN database.
Under the new plan, agencies would have unlimited access to the financial records of millions of Americans. A Treasury spokesperson said that U.S. Law already allows FinCEN to share information with agencies, and that there are privacy safegaurds in place under the Bank Secrecy Act. But Michael German of the ACLU calls the proposal “a black hole” - saying, “Time and again, we have evidence, unfortunately well after the fact, that somebody's civil rights have been violated; that the intelligence community simply ignores the rules.”
Allowing more government surveillance is a bad idea. Over the past decade, we've seen Presidents and spy agencies chip away at our civil rights, all in the name of national security, and this plan is simply another attack on our privacy. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” . We must stand up for the precious civil liberties guaranteed to us in the Constitution, or we'll soon find they no longer exist.
Listen to The Thom Hartmann Show Monday through Friday 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL AM 1600.