According to Edward Snowden’s information, credit card payments are tracked by The US intelligence agency through a specific division called “follow the money” (FTM).
Spiegel reports on Snowden’s unveiled, top-secret information and explains that the NSA has its own financial database (Tracfin) which stores personal records from credit cards and from other transactions. The customers of large credit card companies (which most of us are) including VISA are privy to such surveillance.
The database also holds SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) code information, linking details to specific banks around the world.
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While Spiegel is referring here to offline payment transactions, we cannot but query the extent to which the scrutiny travels – if the NSA is able to gain access to all of this information through card-present transactions, there is absolutely no good reason to believe that the same is not happening in online transactions. We can only assume that the same is true for the card-not-present environment.
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