The American government’s uber over-reaching and prying into the business of everyone who lives on the planet, American citizen or not, aka the NSA also devotes considerable time to watching over and collecting financial data. That is when they are not stalking their ex-girlfriends, copying your emails and follow your Twitter streams and Facebook pages.
In fact, the NSA spends so much of its time following everyone’s money that they even have an internal division called “Follow The Money” (FTM).
What kind of money?
Credit transactions specifically.
Thanks to their secret insertion in the Brussels based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a network that is used by thousands of banks to send information securely, the NSA is effectively able to monitor the credit transactions of basically anyone. Anywhere.
This means that information on any credit purchase whether it be groceries or stocks, and regardless of whether it takes place in Atlanta, Georgia or Georgia the country, is scooped up and stored indefinitely – for purposes unknown – by the United States government.
Given the growing ease with which people conduct transactions that don’t involve physical cash, or even leaving your house, one should wonder just how much financial data Uncle Sam’s spy network has, and why it feels entitled to it.
What does this all mean?
Hard to say. These days the American government is fairly cagey about its reasons for anything, but on the surface it appears as though the United States government will happily steal whatever information on the finances of ordinary people and financial institutions of other countries that it can’t coerce out of them through extra territorial law making schemes like FATCA.
Whatever is going on, it’s not about taxes.