NSA “Follow The Money” Program Spies On International Bank Activity

/ 3 years ago


In another shaking report from German publication Der Spiegel we now have reason to believe that the American NSA actually spies on all international transactions processed by companies like VISA. The revelation is hardly surprising but will anger many given the fact the NSA maintained that no commercial or industrial spying has been conducted. Since they made that statement denying commercial spying it has been revealed that they’ve spied on Brazilian industrial oil firm Petrobras and now, many banking firms.

The program conducted by the NSA to spy on banks all over the world is dubbed “follow the money” (FTM). The information collected from the FTM program then flows into the NSA’s mammoth financial databank called “Tracfin” which in 2011 had 180 million records of which around 84% were credit card transaction details. The documents show the NSA was targeting companies like VISA for direct surveillance. The main regions of focus were Europe, the Middle East and Africa a presentation slide suggested the goal was to “collect, parse and ingest transactional data for priority credit card associations, focusing on priority geographic regions.”

The NSA Tracfin data bank also retrieved and stored huge amounts of data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication aka SWIFT. Apparently concern has been raised among inteliigence agency staff, in the USA and UK’s GCHQ, over what can only be described as the handling of highly sensitive information. Spying on financial data is a huge invasion of privacy that is likely to enrage a lot more people than previous allegations that were just limited to telecommunications, especially since the bulk of the financial data is not even about NSA targets but average people.

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