Jansen Calls on Treasury Secretary to Make Financial Privacy Higher Priority

Free Congress Foundation
Press Release – 18 May 2001

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2001
Contact: Notra Trulock
(202) 204-5304 or ntrulock@freecongress.org


Warns O’Neill about OECD/FATF Campaigns against Banking Secrecy and Tax Competition

Washington, DC. – This week J. Bradley Jansen, Deputy Director of the Center for Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation released a copy of a letter to Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill. The letter calls on Secretary O’Neill to take a stronger stance on safeguarding our financial privacy against attacks on banking secrecy by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Financial Action Task Force. Jansen is in Paris this week monitoring OECD efforts to undermine our privacy under the guise of “investigations regarding financial crimes.”

“We oppose the adoption of privacy-violating rules no matter how they are implemented or what they are called: FDIC’s Know Your Customer, Wolfsberg Principles, or under the guise of a ‘best practice'”, Jansen said.

The letter was signed by a broad coalition of 43 different organizations that represent a diverse and broad cross-section of American society. The letter requests that Secretary O’Neill “make a clear statement instituting policies that respect financial privacy and that the Treasury Department opposes the type of reporting requirements being advanced by the OECD and FATF.”

“Financial privacy gives individuals a way to safeguard their civil liberties – and maybe their lives.” Jansen added, “This type of controversial government-mandated spying is an Echelon-type system for financial transactions and is open to the same types of abuse.”

A copy of the letter is attached.

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