SPIES WORKING FOR THE JUNTA of revolting British colonialists in the Americas have started illegally monitoring credit cards.
According to documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act, federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations. They have done all this without the nicety of getting a court order.
Writing in his blog, insecurity researcher Christopher Soghoian said that "Hotwatch" orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs.
The news shows how keen the US Department of Justice is about using its powers to watch Americans with little or no judicial or Congressional oversight.
To get information on a person's credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person's purchases by writing their own subpoena, followed up by an order from a judge that the surveillance not be disclosed.
Normally the spooks ask for all historical records on an account or individual from a credit card company.
Then the spooks send a request for "Any and all records and information relating directly or indirectly to any and all ongoing and future transactions or events relating to any and all of the following persons, entitities, account numbers, addresses and other matters." That gets them a live feed of transaction data.
The best side of hotwatch orders is that they do not have to be reported to Congress like the numbers of criminal and national security wiretaps undertaken.
It is starting to look like the Americans having to pay a penny a year on tea and getting their defence paid for was a better bet than trying to set up its own government with the French. µ
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