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FBI Enlists Internet Cafe Owners to Spy on Customers

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Spies

The US government has developed massive surveillance capabilities to monitor communications, travel and financial transactions in this country and abroad. But, even the government cannot monitor everything Americans do—not directly, anyway. Thus, it created the Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program to enlist your friendly local businesses as spies for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The CAT program, funded by the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training program (SLATT) is described as a “tool to engage members of the local community in the fight against terrorism.” The program interprets “local community” to mean businesses, and only registered businesses may access the program’s flyers listing “potential indicators” of terrorist activity.

Each flyer is designed for a particular kind of business. For example, this list was prepared for owners of internet cafes. Unquestionably, someone planning a terrorist attack has engaged in one or more of the “suspicious” activities on that list. But so, too, have most of the estimated 289 million computer users in this country.

The government’s flyer designates people as suspicious if they “always pay cash” at an internet café.

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Under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the government may detain indefinitely any terrorism suspects–including U.S. citizens. And, since the government has created pretexts for arresting virtually anyone, no one is safe.

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Remember the controversy at the beginning of the Patriot Act over government collaboration with libraries to watch what books people read?

We have heard a lot about their monitoring big internet companies like Google and Verizon, but all this raises more questions about what they are doing with companies like amazon and any other such website you explore or buy from. Have you been perusing "extremist" books on amazon -- daring to save a "wish list" there? Remember how government officials have been telling us that individualists and advocates of freedom are "extremists" and "potential terrorists"? How often have we been told by leftist "narrative" that opposition to their statism and collectivism is "anarchy"?

And what about the new internet sales tax they are trying to impose by demanding that companies all over the country collect taxes demanded by other states and continuously report back to them? State tax agencies are among the worst in violating civil rights because they are unconstrained by constitutional limitations on what they can do to those accused or suspected of criminal activity -- the punitive taxes imposed on you are not regarded as punishment for a crime, resulting in laws allowing tax agencies to "estimate" whatever they want and threaten you with "penalties" if you don't shut up and quickly comply along with the legal requirement that you have to prove your innocence. They routinely collaborate with the IRS and often have less restrictions on them than even the IRS.

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The US government has developed massive surveillance capabilities to monitor communications, travel and financial transactions in this country and abroad. But, even the government cannot monitor everything Americans do—not directly, anyway. Thus, it created the Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program to enlist your friendly local businesses as spies for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Why doesn't the mint print UPC codes on paper money, codes that would be scanned in retail stores, restaurants, etc? Surely that would not only help the FBI trace the flow of laundered money, but also help them spot counterfeit money. After all, cashiers rarely check serial numbers on banknotes, but if standard operating procedure were to scan all of the money before handing the bagged merchandise to the customer, then something very much like a serial number would be picked up by the system.

I suspect that people in the US government believe that money laundering kept the economy afloat during the worst period of the 2007-2008 economic crisis, and that nobody in the US government who has enough authority to put a stop to money laundering has any intention of actually authorizing any action that risks bringing money laundering to a halt in the USA.

Also, there are jobs at stake. A lot of people have jobs tracking down money launderers and compiling legal documents to use against money launderers. Putting money launderers out of business all in one stroke would take away those jobs, and in a time of high unemployment, politicians care about saving jobs -- useless or not -- more than they care about saving money for the taxpayers. That is presuming that politicians care at all about saving money for taxpayers. Of course, I'm using broad strokes myself here. Each politician has free will, and some might be above reproach. Perhaps it is partly because they are above reproach that they are unknown. The news media love scandals and might do whatever they can to marginalize a political candidate who offers no potential for scandals.

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