Spy agency can easily manipulate the market through latest surveillance hub
May 7, 2014
An upcoming surveillance hub monitoring all investment transactions in real-time will allow the National Security Agency unparalleled ability to manipulate the stock market.
Through the use of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)’s latest database, which keeps investor data in the same centralized location, the NSA could easily capture private, financial data on targeted investors and even influence the stock market as a whole.
And it appears that the dragnet database, called the Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS), was designed with such vulnerabilities in mind.
“I can’t think of any other reason that someone would invest so much time and so much effort into trying to monitor every brokerage account in the United States in real time,” Porter Stansberry, the founder of the Stansberry & Associates Investment Research Conference, said on the Alex Jones Show. “That is an enormous technical challenge.”
He also added that even knowing something as simple as how many individual investors own certain securities could be very, very valuable to select interests.
While one of the NSA’s roles is undoubtedly financial espionage, the database will also make it easier for corporate entities and high frequency traders to rig markets.
Indeed, three traders have already filed a lawsuit against CME Group Inc. for selling sensitive data to high frequency traders.
“The plaintiffs allege CME charged exchange and data fees for real-time price data, and purported that the data was sold to the users in real time. The suit further states that CME allegedly also charged high-frequency traders for the ability to see the data before others, including people who paid and continue to pay CME for seeing the same data first,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Since the 1987 stock market crash, the Working Group on Financial Markets, otherwise known as the Plunge Protection Team, has also been a target of charges of market manipulation.
The government itself routinely manipulates markets with the timing of announcements and the actual execution of quantitative easing and bond buying programs.
Oher revelations in the past reveal that the NSA is more than willing to monitor and manipulate financial transactions.
Last December, the White House report on the activities of the NSA suggested that the spy agency was already hacking into financial institutions and altering the amounts held in bank accounts.
“Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems,” the report recommended.
Trevor Timm, a former analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asked if the recommendation implied that the NSA was already doing just that.
And a few months earlier, in September, German news outlet Der Spiegel reported that the spy agency was also tracking the global flow of money.
Under the “Follow the Money” program, the NSA collects credit card and other financial transactions into its own financial databank, called “Tracfin,” which contains nearly 200 million records if not more.
“Further NSA documents from 2010 show that the NSA also targets the transactions of customers of large credit card companies like VISA for surveillance,” the article continued. “NSA analysts at an internal conference that year described in detail how they had apparently successfully searched through the U.S. company’s complex transaction network for tapping possibilities.”
And the upcoming CARDS database, which a law professor suggested is as tempting of a target as the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, would grant the NSA almost unlimited possibilities to influence the stock market.
Alex Jones will make a rare public appearance as a featured speaker at the upcoming Stansberry & Associates Investment Research Conference in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, May 31. For more information and tickets, please visit alexjonesdallas.com.