The SWIFT Takeover: With “Follow The Money”, NSA Knows All About Your Spending Habits
by Tyler Durden
With the NSA already tracking and recording every form of communication and electronic data exchange, it would hardly come as a surprise that the final piece of the puzzle was also actively being intercepted and collected by General Keith Alexander’s superspy army: money, or rather tracking the global flow thereof. Which is why we were not surprised to learn just this, following the latest report from Germany’s Spiegel that “The National Security Agency (NSA) widely monitors international payments, banking and credit card transactions” and has even created an internal branch titled appropriately enough “Follow The Money” (FTM). Once collected, the data then flows into the NSA’s own financial databank, called “Tracfin,” which in 2011 contained 180 million records. Some 84 percent of the data is from credit card transactions. But while collecting credit card data was to be expected, what is even worse is that the NSA has also secretly planted itself in the nexus of the entire global USD-intermediated financial transactions system courtesy of SWIFT. In other words, America’s unsupervised uber spies, when not checking in on their former significant others, spend the bulk of their time tracking who is buying what, where, and with whose money.