New reports based on whistleblower Edward Snowden's leaked documents show the National Security Agency (NSA) watches a massive volume of financial transactions. About 84% of 180 million records tracked in 2011, for example, come from credit card transactions.
Not only will this large-scale financial snooping damage the trust of clients of credit card and bank companies, it also opens the door for market manipulation to benefit or harm private businesses and individuals.
Are you comfortable knowing the NSA has compromised the security of bank and credit card companies?
From Der Spiegel:
But even intelligence agency employees are somewhat concerned about spying on the world finance system, according to one document from the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ concerning the legal perspectives on “financial data” and the agency's own cooperations with the NSA in this area. The collection, storage and sharing of politically sensitive data is a deep invasion of privacy, and involved “bulk data” full of “rich personal information,” much of which “is not about our targets,” the document says.