Hiding in a crowd? With FATCA, we know that our U.S. Masters are designing the tools so they can say, “No more ” in relation to our financial accounts.
As an example of how evolving technology is making it difficult to remain hidden or unobserved, I recently saw this picture of a crowd in the Vancouver Canucks Fan Zone along Georgia St. for Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final . It was taken with a camera of 70,000 by 30,000 pixels, or 2100 MegaPixels. It can identify a face in a multitude. This camera is not yet sold to the public, but it might be coming to an IPhone in the future? With our technological trends, all things are possible.
Click on this link…
Place your cursor in the multitude of people and left double click a couple times. It will continue to show the people much closer and closer and closer and CLOSER. Are you there?
Is this a corollary on how FATCA is evolving on the way to a global GATCA? No place to hide? You be the judge.
A few years ago, a 3 megapixel camera was a wonder. That is all they have on the Curiosity Rover on Mars, but you may have 15 megapixels on your phone now as technology races past NASA. One thing I can guarantee you, all government agencies will want a lot of these cameras! Easier to find you!
Here is an explanation on how these types of cameras are created for Argus. Assume it is something similar or simpler for this combined mega mega picture.
I’m not trying to “hide” in a crowd or otherwise. lol. I don’t think too many in Canada are. All I want is clear instructions, a simple path out of something my spouse and child should never have been subjected to and some form of system that doesn’t pile in innocent families with criminals.
As for the NSA stuff and the spying etc….well. Nobody wants that or likes it. Americans in Canada or otherwise.
Just want to take this opportunity to say how stupid I think “Mayor Moonbeam” is. There, I feel better.
Look at the guys on the roof, next to the rail, overlooking the crowd. It is stunning the detail…
I saw another story about developing this camera technology for our drones. This is a 1.8 gigapixel camera, so the photo of the Canucks crowd is nothing really. 🙂 This story also mentions this photo..
Drone ‘Nightmare Scenario’ Now Has A Name: ARGUS
Just to alert Brockers that Sen. Levin has reintroduced the “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” in the Senate. The provisions are uniformly bad from the perspective of US persons residing outside the US who necessarily deal with “foreign financial institutions” in their daily lives.
Thanks for that update.
Personally, I’m going to assist the august Senator Levin and co. in Stopping Tax Haven Abuse by refraining from incorporating in the Tax Haven state of Delaware http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/how-delaware-thrives-as-a-corporate-tax-haven.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 , and continuing not to have any US bank account, particularly in US banks in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and other US Tax Haven states, as per …”“We’re the biggest tax haven in the world,” says Robert Goulder, editor-in-chief of U.S.-based Tax Notes International. “People joke about the Cayman Islands. The biggest haven is an island, all right. It’s either Manhattan or Great Britain.”
Jack Blum, a former U.S. Senate investigator and an authority on offshore tax shelters, says U.S. bankers “sell tax evasion to citizens of Central America, the Caribbean, all over Latin America.” The U.S. government hasn’t put a stop to it, Blum says, because bankers and politicians don’t want to stop the flow of foreign cash into the United States….” http://www.publicintegrity.org/2011/05/18/4638/irs-crusades-against-americans-hiding-money-offshore-latin-american-tax-cheats-flock
As I live and only bank in Canada, I hope the Senator appreciates my patriotic sacrifice in continuing my personal contribution to the defeat of abusive tax havens located in the US.
And due to FATCA, I swear to refrain from making any US investments ever. What a sacrifice!
Opportunity to add anti-FATCA comments here:
Yes, the irony of the US being the biggest obstruction to a global exchange of tax information.
Yup, Uncle Carl has tried that bill mulitple times before. We posted about his last years effort, and now he is just moving it forward a year.
@Badger….Thanks for the link. I like your comment and gave you a thumbs up! Before the grandkids are awake, I posted a comment at The Hill too…
Slightly off topic – has anyone approached for example someone over at McGill Law School about starting a project surrounding FATCA and discrimination?
There was a lady who spoke recently on a Youtube video with a Canadian civil liberties organization.
Personally I have approach a civil liberties organization in another affected country who are now looking into the issue.
My feeling from the get go about FATCA is the only way to rein this back is on discrimination legal challenge. To date nobody has answered this question – Shouldn’t all citizens be treated equally concerning data sharing? We accept this principle for other government activities such as government benefits, government jobs, why should data sharing be any different?
FATCA is trying to establish new principles among information sharing between countries perhaps the rules ought to be laid out concerning whose information gets shared?
I find it hard to believe a court would rule in favour of the Gov’t if ask to decide whether all Canadians should be treated equally with government data?
One other thought –
Perhaps instead of trying to eliminate FATCA the new strategy should be to create enough loopholes making FATCA ineffective.
Of course there is the danger once established the US could pressure a weaker foreign government into complying, however, I think time is not on the US’s side.
The US’s share of world GDP is declining by the day and it’s ability to ram these types of laws down the world’s throat will become harder and harder. Especially if China ends up saying no leaving the US in the awkward position to withhold 30% on its biggest creditor.
China is in the midst of transforming their economy into a relying on domestic demand with the US becoming the exporter in future. If China’s part of its convenience marriage with the US ends up becoming less important (ie – China sends exports and buys US Treasury bonds changing to US sends China exports and buy far fewer US Treasuries) why on earth would China want to continue with FATCA? That’s unless of course the US becomes a better tax haven for Chinese nationals hiding money?
Have you seen the “FATCA Fact Finding Forum” on the right side bar here? There were several speakers recorded there, including the CCLA’s Abby Deshman and Professor Allison Christians of McGill University. Both have so far made themselves accessible to many of us at Brock, perhaps you could run your ideas by them?
There is now a good comment on The Hill that needs a LOT of thumbs up…
It is by Thomas Paine… Unfortunately, it all runs together…. (I will break it out below)
Thomas Paine • 2 hours ago −
In Ronald Reagan immortal words: “There you go again….” Not content with issuing an initial press release that “lost tax revenues to tax havens ‘cost’ $100 billion”, Sen. Levin has decided to up the ante to $220 billion. I’m stunned he doesn’t just say “trillions and trillions” because ALL of these numbers are pure hyperbole!
He simply is trying to bamboozle an otherwise uninterested Congress into thinking somehow the government is missing out on $1—- (million/billion/trillion) in revenue that they could spend SO much better if given the chance. Missing, of course, is the obvious: Congress is INCOMPETENT when it comes to spending money. What we ALL know is this: They have spent $7 TRILLION in the past 5 years than they don’t have!! And they wonder why people squirrel it offshore to keep it out of their grubby little hands???
The truth, however, is Levin and the IRS has no idea whatsoever is “missing” because the IRS and the Treasury have lousy accountants. Consider this: The FATCA legislation was scored by the Joint Committee on Taxation as raising a paltry $800 million a year. In order to get this amount of money, the IRS has launched a fiscal imperialism scheme on a world-wide basis that shakes down every bank in the world to be their spies on overseas Americans or face retribution by the Treasury. As a consequence, the international banking community has estimated that they will have to spend $25-30 BILLION to comply with this nonsensical farce.
In the meantime, the lives of overseas Americans – who were NOT the tax cheats living INSIDE America using Swiss banks – have had their lives turned upside down with banks all over the world simply kicking them out rather than have to deal with either the increased costs to change their systems to comply with the global fiscal Mafia that the IRS is becoming on the backside of this stupid bill! The betting is very heavily overseas that FATCA won’t even raise the $800 million that JCT predicted when the law was passed.
Of course, it would have been useful had the IRS actually followed the standing Executive Order requiring a thorough cost-benefit study be undertaken, but it simply dismissed it as unnecessary. How convenient – “noblesse oblige” in Washington – who would have thought?
Overseas Americans are now required to know over 7,000 pages of Tax Code and comply with 667 IRS tax forms to become “compliant”. It is virtually impossible for them to do so without hiring professional help just to come up with “0” as tax liability – you see, all Americans living overseas still have to pay the local taxes, too.
In the meantime, overlooked – conveniently? – by Sen. Levin and his merry band of global fiscal pirates, is that IRS has admitted that they pay out over $20 billion each year in fraudulent returns, more than 20x what FATCA is supposed to deliver. Most people with common sense would say: “Clean up your own office before you take on the world!” Alas….
Then there is the fact that according to the Federal Reserve, $150 billion a year is remitted overseas in cash transfers. Chances are GREAT that these are from illegal immigrants (who don’t pay taxes in the USA) and drug dealers (who also don’t pay taxes in the USA). How about a simple 10% tax on that amount of money and voila! $15 billion more for the pork barrel spenders like Levin.
The Bible admonishes us to pick the log out of our own eyes before pointing out the sliver in someone else’s – perhaps Levin, the IRS, and Treasury might want to clean their own homes of monumental waste instead of building a house of dirt elsewhere that frankly is entirely fictitious.
Can anyone provide a link to the FATCA fact sheet? I would like to e-mail it to a bunch of contacts. Can it be put on the left under our resources?
You can download the pdf file from the recent comments here …
Yoga Girl’s one page fact sheet is at September 23, 2013 at 2:05 am.
Once you have the pdf file on your computer you can attach it to e-mails.
I am just doing some catching up tonight, and I see @Calgary411 also has one…
I hate to nitpick, but you said the picture “… was taken with a camera of 70,000 by 30,000 pixels, or 2100 MegaPixels”.
Actually, reading the article carefully, the image was made from 216 different photos, made from one or more cameras (thus there are some time discrepancies in the image where parts of it are farther in time than other parts).
2100 megapixels for 216 photos (12 across by 18 down) means an average of 9.72 megapixels per camera photo, or an average of 3889px x 2500px per photo.
Still an impressive photo however.
Thanks for the nitpick. I took that generalized comment from another source without doing your more your complete explanation of how it is taken. Technically, I think what they do is combine multiple mega pixel sensor chips from multiple cameras into one shot, or at least that is how I understood how it is done. I.E. remove the guts (chips) from each of 216 different cameras and place them into one housing, and essentially take 216 different pictures at once. If anyone has a better technical explanation, I would be interested. My understanding came from this clip….
Apparently Germany has signed up to ‘watered down’ FATCA with most of its pension plan exempt.
See link – http://www.ipe.com/news/aon-hewitt-warns-multinationals-on-reach-of-fatca_57316.php#.UkG2qN7D9jo
The US is desperately trying to establish the principle of FATCA with watered down agreements with the view to tighten the data grip later.
This is why the ground rules for FATCA need to be established in each countries legal system with the view to render it ineffective for dual US / dual citizens resident say in Canada.
In my opinion this is the best outcome at the moment and easier to get a Canadian court to strike down FATCA’s scope.
Back on The Hill’s Levin article, a poster named Zach wrote:
“Amazing how many people on here seem totally fine with corporations taking advantage of these loopholes. Guess these are not the same people who are concerned about the deficit.”
I just replied to him:
“Why Zach? Because FATCA will do nothing to prevent American-born multi-national corporations from continuing to play their carefully-contrived tax-haven shell games. What it will do, however, is to financially decimate individual “U.S. Persons” worldwide, as well as their spouses and children, and ultimately, the treasuries of every foreign government that will be robbed at virtual gunpoint by the American government.
FATCA is American hubris, imperialism, bullying, extortion and so-called exceptionalism run amok. It is truly an out-of-control freight train that is barrelling down first on America’s tiny, frightened diaspora before it loops its way back to the American heartland. There, it will destroy your domestic economy as foreign investors and vendors flee for far safer and saner markets, toppling the U.S. dollar from its reserve currency pedestal once and for all.
The United States has sealed its own fate with FATCA, and the results will be apocalyptic. Pay attention now: the end-game begins in July of 2014. On your way out, be sure to thank your Congressional representative for being completely asleep at the switch when this abomination was voted into being in 2010 – you’ll have plenty of time to think about it while you’re standing in the next historic breadlines.”