ITWASSOOTED: "Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative"

Fed's Junior Partner: The Banks

The 1994 and 2001 revisions to the Bank Secrecy Act made the banks the fed's junior partner when it comes to snooping on customers. Eliot Spitzer, who used such laws to ensnare his targets when he was a prosecutor, fell victim to his bank's Suspicious Activity Report.

When Congress passed the Patriot Act in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, law-enforcement agencies hailed it as a powerful tool to help track down the confederates of Osama bin Laden. No one expected it would end up helping to snag the likes of Eliot Spitzer. The odd connection between the antiterror law and Spitzer's trysts with call girls illustrates how laws enacted for one purpose often end up being used very differently once they're on the books.
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