July 5th, 2016. - Roasting hot dogs and hamburgers on a charcoal grill. Sipping pink lemonade from a blue and red striped plastic straw. Wearing the new 2016 limited edition Old Navy American flag shirt that magically fits just right on every body type. The smell of your sunscreen soaked skin. The squeal of excited children. The sharp intake of breath you inhale as the first firework whistles sky high and shatters into brilliance. We hope your Independence day celebration was full of these fond memories.
As you bask in the warm glow of good will and patriotism, take a moment to honor the women and men who fight for our freedom every day. The troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The Navy officers in undisclosed locations at sea. The decision makers who make tough calls. The administrative staff that keeps everything standing. But also the compliance officers and financial industry employees.
Surprised at the last addition? With the rise of cyber terrorism threats, compliance offers and financial industry employees can play a huge role in protecting our national interest, treasure, and security. Why? It all stems from the USA PATRIOT Act. Implemented in 2001 as a result of the 911 attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act is designed to give the government more power to keep us safe in the cyber sphere.
The USA PATRIOT Act was implemented to strengthen US measures to prevent, detect, and prosecute international money laundering and financing of terrorism. It criminalized the financing of terrorism, increased civil and criminal penalties for money laundering, and amplified the scrutiny of foreign financial institutions and interactions that are prone to abuse. This act gave federal officials the tools and freedom they need to better trace and intercept terrorist communications, and improved information sharing between financial institutions and the United States government.
The USA PATRIOT Act has had a very controversial reception to say the least. Many oppose it as it gives the government a lot of spying power. (Think young boy in a spy store with a mother that does not know how to say no.) Others are supportive, valuing safety over privacy. (How else would the real life versions of Jack Bauer and Alex Parrish get things done?) Regardless of how you feel about it personally, it is important to understand what the act does and how it affects you.
What you should know about the USA PATRIOT Act
• Encourages information sharing: with communication between US financial institutions and the government encouraged, law enforcement teams have more tools to disrupt and prevent terrorist acts and money laundering.
• Makes account ownership and identify more transparent: sets standards for customer identify requirements when opening an account.
• Keeps a closer watch on Correspondent Accounts.
• Suspicious Activity in accounts must be reported by brokers and dealers.
• Expands wiretap policies to stay current with modern technology: lengthens the list of criminal activities for which wiretap can be ordered, makes cellphones and laptops fair game for wiretapping.
• Empowers Attorney General, so they can order education records without student consent when investigating or prosecuting terror crimes.
• Creates stricter guidelines for Visa requirements for immigrants.
by: Madelyn Fagan