December 28, 2005
How Grandma Millie Got Reamed

Here’s an interesting take on the implications of government spying. I haven’t seen this argument anywhere else and I haven’t looked closely at this website to try to determine if they are conservative, liberal, or some offshoot of the various political factions in this country. However, this is the kind of argument will make rich conservative investors shudder at the potential implications. The rest of us, well, we’ve been getting screwed for years:

Americans should not be shocked to learn that Big Brother has been eavesdropping on their telecommunications. It’s been an open secret for years that the hush-hush National Security Agency’s big electronic ears on the East and West coasts of the USA have been hoovering up all international phone, fax, and email communications.

When you call your aunt in Palermo, or your friend in Egypt, or your girlfriend in Paris, NSA’s super computers pick up and process the transmission. State of the art programs search the messages for key words, locations, repetitions and patterns of interest. This process has been going on long before 9/11.

I have always wondered what government listeners do with highly sensitive financial information passing between corporations, banks and securities or commodity markets. Obviously, there is enormous potential for the state listeners to profit from secret information about mergers, acquisitions, large trades of stocks or commodities, and the movement of currencies.

One may expect a huge scandal to erupt one day when it is revealed that US intelligence agencies used secret financial data to speculate in markets and produce huge profits to pay for ‘black’ operations not authorized by Congress. A prime example of such hanky panky was the Reagan administration’s notorious arms for hostages deal back in 1980’s and the diversion of funds from Iran to pay for the Nicaraguan contras.

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Posted by Buck Batard at December 28, 2005 12:48 PM
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The reality is that for them to siphon certain keywaords, they have to listen to millions of hours of communications. Terrible. Keep printing the truth!

Posted by: Bruce Burch on December 28, 2005 11:11 PM

There is a Tom Clancy novel that uses a scenario you describe. He is not as explicit about the scamming but he plays around the edges of it.

Posted by: B.G. Titwilder on December 29, 2005 11:20 AM
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