“The Israelis are very involved in any collection activity. A lot of the technologies that are being applied have been developed in the States as well as in Israel and Europe using Mossad agents,” Rickard said.
A recent report has suggested that the CIA is collecting financial transaction records from the likes of Western Union under the Patriot Act. This is the same law exploited by the NSA. Many in the US have criticized the measure as massive violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Rickard said the revelation isn’t something new. He said the financial transactions have been collected for “well over 50 years”. US officials have now expanded the program to target “suspected terrorists,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal reported that former US government officials familiar with the CIA program have said that the program “has been useful in discovering terrorist relationships and financial patterns”.
“If a CIA analyst searches the data and discovers possible suspicious terrorist activity in the US, the analyst provides that information to the FBI” the Journal said, citing a former US official.
In 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center database contained over 700,000 names and the list was growing at a whopping 20,000 names per month. That means that the list now has well over a million names.