Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Basic Proposal

I'm establishing this blog to discuss just one concept:

The United States collects and can analyze all voice & electronic communications that pass through our country, a system called "PRISM", in an effort to prevent terrorism. Supposedly originating from a handful of fanatics living in caves, terrorism -- though it is a shocking and heinous crime -- kills fewer Americans than does lightning strikes. On the other hand -- as documented extensively by many reporters such as Matt Taibbi and Bill Moyers -- currency manipulation, front-running, insider trading, rate-fixing, public bid-rigging, and related types of financial fraud have stolen many scores of billions or likely hundreds of billions of dollars over the past ten years alone, from the pockets of nearly every single citizen in the First World, on a daily basis, still ongoing. Yet nobody seems to think we can do anything about that.

Wouldn't the eavesdropping technology be a good match for the crime of sophisticated financial fraud?

I propose that the US Government, presumably through an Act of Congress, order the NSA, who runs the PRISM system, to share its database and its analysis capability with financial law enforcement agencies, such as the SEC, FinCEN, national and local Consumer Protection agencies, even FERC and the FEC, including regional or local law enforcement such as State Attorney Generals, for the express purpose of combating inter-State and international finance collusion, bid-rigging, market manipulation, energy price-gouging, election rigging, and similar crimes.

Please bring this proposal to the attention of your Federal representatives, senators, your neighbors, and the media voices you listen to.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Reasons Why

Here are some reasons why I believe this proposal is important, appropriate, and why it would help improve our country. Here are some answers to some common objections I anticipate.

* The reason PRISM scoops up all US communications, they say, is simply because the majority of world communications pass through our computers even when sent between people outside the US. This is certainly true of financial communications.

* The reason PRISM proponents say that the eavesdropping overrides privacy concerns, such as the 4th Amendment, is because terrorism costs lives, threatens the security and stability of entire countries, and is one of the most illegal activities on the planet. Even though many sophisticated financial frauds exist in legal gray areas... rate-fixing, bid-rigging, and many similar practices are also blatantly illegal. And as their damage piles up to tens of billions of dollars in the middle of a worldwide recession, surely these activities are also a clear and present threat to the security and stability of communities, industries, and even entire countries, including our own. Arguably this threat is even more important than the threat of terrorism, which while heinous and shocking, is far more rare. Fraudulent financial communication over electronic networks occurs virtually every hour of every single day.