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Report: U.S. drawing up plans to increase CIA, NSA access to massive financial database

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The Obama administration is drafting a plan that would increase intelligence agencies’ access to a database containing the personal financial information of Americans with the intent of targeting terrorist networks by adding financial data to other intelligence gathering, according to Reuters.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) receives “suspicious customer activity” reports, but the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency do not have full access to the database (the FBI does). The March 4 planning document would increase the ability of the spy agencies to analyze more raw financial data, the wire service reported.

A Treasury spokesman said the network can share information to help thwart potential threats to national security as long as they follow the Bank Secrecy Act.

“Law enforcement and intelligence community members with access to this information are bound by these safeguards,” the spokesman told Reuters.

The document also includes a plan for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks, to work with the Treasury Department, though the director declined comment on the report.

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