Slowly and steadily, our money is taking on a new role. In addition to it’s traditional function as a medium of exchange and store of wealth, money is increasingly becoming a means of surveillance and control. And as such, financial privacy has become one of the biggest casualties in the world’s relentless march to a digital payments system.
Under the financial system, the means of surveillance and control are extensive. Not only do corporations like your bank, credit card issuer, PayPal, or Amazon, among others, know your buying habits intimately, this data is routinely passed on to government to be mined in warrantless searches for alleged criminal activity. Oh yes. It’s true.
In a series of laws, starting with the 1970 “Bank Secrecy Act,” including the 2001 “Patriot Act,” and most recently, the 2021 “Infrastructure Act,” banks, brokers, casinos, mortgage companies, mutual funds, money service companies and other financial institutions, must report to the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), all transactions over $10,000 dollars, and any other transactions they consider “suspicious.”
One thing these laws have in common is that, while widening the net of information the government is allowed to collect on private citizens, they also stipulate that neither the financial institutions, nor government officials, should inform customers that their accounts are being searched. Instead of protecting the privacy of their depositors, financial institutions protect the secrecy of government investigations.
The $10,000 threshold set in 1970 under the BSA, would be more than $72,000 today, taking inflation into account. Now the threshold has been lowered to transactions in excess of $600 dollars.
The New York Post reported in February of 2022 that, Bank of America, had data-mined it’s customer accounts after the Jan. 6 riots to determine who among their customers may have traveled to Washington D.C., made purchases or used ATMs there, or bought firearms around that time. Oh yes, it’s true.
The account information of more than 200 customers, collected “without a warrant,” was reportedly handed over to the FBI. Credit card companies Visa, MasterCard, and American Express agreed in September 2022 to begin tracking firearms purchases, with the goal of handing over the law enforcement any purchases they deemed suspicious.
All of these actions create enormous pools of data for government officials to collect and sort through, despite the fact that this sort of warrantless surveillance violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits government searches without “probable cause,” that citizens being searched have committed a crime.
And then there is the push towards a digital currency. One of the things you can do with a central bank digital currency is, instead of trying to manipulate people through the tax code, you can directly affect their purchases by simply saying only “X” percent of your income can be spent on anything.
And even less on items the government frowns upon, such as firearms, survival food, off-road vehicles, aircraft, boats or precious metals. You see where this is going. We are rushing towards an existence of total government domination. A life of bondage.
The laws of our nation were originally intended to establish peace and order. To foster the societal tranquility necessary, for the nation to prosper. As time passed, laws were passed to manipulate our thoughts and restrict our speech. But that is not good enough anymore.
Now they will force upon us, through digital currency, how much money we will have, how much of that money we can spend, and on what we can spend it on. Digital currency tyranny, indeed.