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American intelligent organization, NSA accused of spying on bank transactions

Tuesday, 17 September 2013
The Americans intelligent organisation, NSA has been accused of spying on banking transaction in which Swedish and Scandinavian people and their business payments and money transfers might have been affected.

According a report, citing new leaks from Edward Snowden, NSA is said to have been spying on transactions made via Visa's and Swift's networks. That has raise fears that its could have led the USA to collect information from competitors and used it to build itself a competitive advantage in the financial market.

The report holds that NSA has for many years overseen operations that have moved within and through the VISA and SWIFT networks, writes the Germans news paper Der Spiegel which is one of the media houses that got in contact with the so called whistle-blower, Edward Snowden.
visavisa card/Granscole
VISA network is very popular in Sweden and most of the Nordic countries and bank transfers here have traditionally been very advanced and could be traced back to many years. It is thus safe to believe that this payment approach through their debit cards and Swift transfers via the banks, use to transfer money internationally could have been examined and such data collected by the NSA.

Monitoring of Visa payments and SWIFT network must have been performed by a department within NSA called FTM ("Follow The Money"). According to Der Spiegel, they then store the information in a database at NSA called TracFin.

Reconnaissance of the network is said to have focused primarily on Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, something described as "Smells of economic espionage."

Now it is being held that German, Russian or Chinese bank unknowingly have been passing this information to American competitors through the NSA data snoop.

Last week it emerged that the NSA possibly engaged in corporate espionage when they spied on the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. This is said to have forced the  Brazilian President to propose legislation that will force all IT companies to store all data locally within the country's borders.

This latest information does not contradict previous revelations about the SWIFT network. Back in 2006, New York Times revealed that the United States has an active program to access transactions that go through SWIFT,  in its so-called "Terrorist Finance Tracking Program."

EU Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström is highly aware of the problem and threatened as recently as last week to terminate the agreement giving U.S. authorities access to the SWIFT network.

According to reports the UK's intelligence agency, GCHQ, admitted cooperation with the NSA to spy on the world finance system. In its report, concerning the legal perspectives on "financial data", it said that the collection, storage and sharing of politically sensitive data was a deep invasion of privacy and involved "bulk data" full of "rich personal information," much of which "is not about our targets."
by Scancomark.com Team

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