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June 26, 2006

Who´s watching the Watchers

Filed under: Freedom of expression, Media, Media Watch, Militær, Western civilisation — limewoody @ 7:36 am

For the second time in seven months, the Times has exposed classified information about a program aimed at protecting the American people against a repeat of the September 11 attacks. On this occasion, it has company in the effort: The Los Angeles Times runs a similar, sensational story. Together, the newspapers disclose the fact that the United States has covertly developed a capability to monitor the nerve center of the international financial network in order to track the movement of funds between terrorists and their facilitators.

The effort, which the government calls the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program” (TFTP), is entirely legal. There are no conceivable constitutional violations involved. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Miller (1976) that there is no right to privacy in financial-transaction information maintained by third parties. Here, moreover, the focus is narrowed to suspected international terrorists, not Americans, and the financial transactions implicated are international, not domestic. This is not data mining, and it does not involve fishing expeditions into the financial affairs of American citizens. Indeed, few Americans even have information that is captured by the program — though there would be nothing legally offensive even if they did.

Read on:
http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YjE4ODFmMmI3ZmM5ZGE4ZDQxNmY1ODA5YTQ3NzkxZWQ=

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