Michael Young (Twitter: @BeirutCalling), the opinion editor of Lebanon’s Daily Star, has a new column exploring a relatively undiscussed problem with FATCA: its impact on the privacy and security of U.S. persons abroad, an issue of particular concern in the Middle East.
However, there is one aspect of FATCA that has not been sufficiently examined, but that remains potentially hazardous. The American government is effectively asking foreign institutions to prepare detailed data bases of American citizens, with no guidelines explaining how this information must be protected. For a country obsessed with the security of its citizens in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, such behavior is paradoxical, indeed astonishing.
Foreign financial institutions will effectively become vast repositories of information on Americans—including what they earn, the sources of their income, what they spend, where they live, who their family members are, and so on. In their zeal to implicitly label Americans living abroad as tax cheats requiring monitoring, the sponsors of FATCA have shown utter indifference to the safety of their citizens.
Thanks, George and innocente and northof49 — I posted this: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/08/09/why-is-security-of-financial-privacy-and-security-of-person-for-those-that-fatca-identifies-ignored-by-both-the-us-and-countries-who-have-signed-treasurys-igas/
The IRS attaché resident in Paris is named Aziz Benbrahim. In 2012 someone supporting the Syrian opposition with this name made a posting on a Youtube Syria television report on the violence in Syria. The comment translates as: “May God curse you who will believe you … and God unaware of what improvement works by the oppressor” (Arabic: الله يلعنكم من سيصدقكم ..ولا تحسين الله غافلا عما يعمل الظالمون).
Obviously, it is not intended to cast dispersions on this IRS attaché who may just share a name with a Syrian opposition (ISIS?) supporter. However, a high-ranking IRS insider, such as this attaché, and sympathetic to terrorist causes, might be in a position to copy the names, addresses and bank account information directly from the IRS of Americans abroad and provide this data to his/her favorite terrorist organization. Does the IRS take reasonable cautions to ensure that confidential data of Americans abroad is not downloaded onto a USB memory stick so that it can be given or sold to terrorist groups?
Stealing data to persecute nationalities and others in disfavor is nothing new. The National Post mentioned this about a Danish Nazi who stole data:
“Denmark also wanted to talk to Kam about the theft in 1943 of a population register, later used to round up and deport 500 Danish Jews to concentration camps.”
Mark Mazur and Robert Stack are putting Americans abroad in harm’s way through the Fatca collection and transmittal of bank data held by banks in countries where Americans reside and work. They are as guilty as Schreibtischtäter as the one who pulls the trigger.
The Germans did the same in Holland resulting in over 200000 civilians killed . Thanks Obama
Innocente asked on October 27, 2014:
“Does the IRS take reasonable cautions to ensure that confidential data of Americans abroad is not downloaded onto a USB memory stick so that it can be given or sold to terrorist groups?”
No. Read the reports of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. They catch a few criminal IRS employees, sometimes for stealing and sometimes just for accessing information illegally, but they’re just scratching the surface.
IBM used to advertise that their tabulation machines[*] helped governments track down and imprison citizens based on ethnicity. Examples of their customers were Germany and the US.
[* These were mechanical data processing machines, before computers became commercially viable.]
The link in “Go read the whole thing” is broken. I think it’s this “now”:
It gets scarier:
‘Title 26, Section 6103 of the tax code opens doors that allow US government agencies, including intelligence agencies, and even Congress, to gain access to information obtained through FATCA. For instance, ACFCS notes, Section 6103 “permits disclosure of ‘return information’ to certain Federal officers and employees and law enforcement agencies for purposes of combating terrorism.”’
Actually the US Department of “Justice” argued in court that 26 USC section 6103 permits PUBLIC disclosure of return information, to be read by anyone who wants to read it. Some US courts agree.
U.S. Financial Regulators Warn about Cyberattacks Involving Extortion
Regulators’ Notice One of Series of Warnings to Banks About Cyberattack Trends
By Ryan Tracy
Nov. 3, 2015
WASHINGTON—U. S. financial regulators warned that hackers are trying to extort banks and credit unions with increasing “frequency and severity” and urged the industry to protect its networks from unauthorized access.
The warning from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council is one of a series that regulators have been issuing in response to the growing threat from cyberattacks. The notice said that regulators are observing more attacks in which hackers steal private data and ask for ransom, or demand payment to prevent a shutdown of a financial institution’s website.
The council includes the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., National Credit Union Administration, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.