Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 100 12:42:13 -0700
Subject: Global KYC
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
[No, no! Global KFC is something different altogether! -psl]
From: Jack Doyle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Ray Leach <email@example.com>
It's back! Politicians try to pass sneaky spy-on-your-bank-account law
Congress is quietly trying to resurrect the so-called "Know Your
Customer" rule, which is a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of
Americans who rose up to defeat the bank monitoring regulation last year.
Shame on these politicians. They don't know how to take 'No Bank Spying'
for an answer. Instead of apologizing for last year's attack on your
privacy, they're covertly trying to do the same thing again.
The original Know Your Customer regulation was withdrawn by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation in March 1999, after Americans flooded the
FDIC with more than 300,000 anti-Know Your Customer e-mails and letters.
The regulation was also opposed by pro-privacy groups and bankers.
Know Your Customer would have required banks and other financial
institutions to monitor every American's bank account. Banks would have
been required to develop customer profiles and report any 'unusual activity'
such as large cash deposits or withdrawals to the government -- in effect
turning every bank teller into an informer and everyone with a bank account
into a criminal suspect.
Now Congress has created Know Your Customer, The Sequel: The
International Counter-Money Laundering and Foreign Anticorruption Act of
2000 (HR 3886). The bill, sponsored by Rep. James Leach (R-IA), chairman
of the House Banking Committee, passed that panel on June 8 and is headed
for a full House vote in September [9/2000 -psl].
Don't let the word 'international' in the bill's title fool you.
Politicians want you to believe that your privacy won't be threatened as
long as you use a U.S. bank -- but that's not true.
In fact, he said, one section of the bill gives Treasury bureaucrats
the specific power to impose Know Your Customer-style regulations on U.S.
banks at will.
The government's excuse is that anyone who uses a U.S. bank has the
potential to conduct an international transaction, so U.S. banks can be
monitored as well.
HR 3886 says " the Treasury secretary shall issue guidance to financial
institutions operating in the United States on appropriate practices and
procedures to reduce the risk that such institutions may become depositories
for, or transmitters of, the proceeds of corruption by or on behalf of
senior foreign officials and their close associates."
Such "guidance" means banks would have to "survey everybody and then
if you look like you're out of line, you better explain yourself," according
to Banking Committee member Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a leading opponent to
That provision makes HR 3886 another 'prove you're not a criminal' law
that could force innocent Americans to explain where they got their money
and how they plan to spend it.
Another thing that should be familiar is that HR 3886 uses the actions
of theoretical criminals as an excuse to monitor innocent Americans.
Remember the government's claim that Know Your Customer was an attempt
to combat drug dealers and money launderers? In HR 3886, the excuse for
spying on your bank account is to curb corrupt foreign officials and money
Politicians are making the preposterous claim that you should surrender
your privacy rights because of theoretical crimes committed by dictators
in countries most of us can't even locate on a map.
Besides, how can the U.S. government possibly monitor corrupt foreign
officials when it can't even keep up with corrupt American politicians and
After all, the federal bureaucrats who created Know Your Customer are
still at large. Harassing every American with a bank account should be a
crime -- regardless of what the government decides to call it."
© 2000 Peter Langston