31 March 2015

Experts Admit Conspiracy Theorists Right About Rigged Stock Market: “The Dirty Secret Is Out”

Source: SHTFPlan

Mac Slavo
March 28th, 2015

Are there really secret manipulations of the economy going on in the shadows of Wall Street and Washington?

Do bears crap in the woods?

The NY Post’s controversial columnist John Crudelehas thrown down the gauntlet, declaring that the market is rigged. And not only does everyone know it, but it is now being admitted.
The stock market is rigged.
When I started making that claim years ago — and provided solid evidence — people scoffed.Some called it a conspiracy theory, tinfoil hats and that sort of stuff. Most people just ignored me.
But that’s not happening anymore. The dirty secret is out.
Ed Yardeni, a longtime Wall Street guru who isn’t one of the clowns of the bunch, said flat out last week that the market was being propped up. “These markets are all rigged, and I don’t say that critically. I just say that factually,” he asserted on CNBC.
Yardeni’s claim is the most basic one: that the Federal Reserve won’t do anything that will upset Wall Street and, in fact, is doing all it can to help the stock market.
So the Federal Reserve is propping up Wall Street, and the economy by extension, not only by issuing free money through QE3, but buying up bonds and shares as well.

This form of manipulation extends globally, with many other central banks propping up the market, and even the U.S. government… as a means of covert proxy investment:
The Bank of Japan — and other central bankers around the world — could easily be purchasing shares of American companies to help out the US stock market.
And Japan could even be doing it with the blessing of Washington, which is afraid any direct intervention in equities on its part would be discovered by nosy people like me.

Last fall, we learned that one American exchange has made intervention in — rigging — foreign governments easier and cheaper to accomplish. In October, it emerged that CME Group, the Chicago exchange that trades options and commodities, had an incentive program under which foreign central banks could buy stock market derivatives like the Standard & Poor’s futures contracts at a discount.
According to Crudele, Japan is encouraging its private sector engage in the shadow market boosting as well – you know, for the greater good.
That’s called rigging the market for a higher purpose, or hoping people who can afford to invest in stocks will make lots of money and spend it.
Underneath it all, the market rigging creates unfair advantage by operating under false pretenses:
The bigger problem is this: If stock prices are artificially inflated, nobody can tell what a company is really worth.”
Recently,      SHTF reported that former SEC director John Ramsay also admitted the market is rigged, stating “Today’s rules have been crafted to the benefit of insiders.”

The same article cited an author following the manipulations of Wall Street:
“The market is rigged against retail investors, has questioned the tactics involved in using algorithms to buy and sell shares in fractions of a second.”
Of course, if we listened to comedians instead of experts, we would have known that long ago.

The late George Carlin said it better than anyone probably could: “The game is rigged!”


Source: The THRIVE Movement

In the era of the Global Domination Agenda, simply telling the truth and working honestly for freedom, health and justice is often criminalized, surveilled and suppressed. Even keeping personal information private from “total surveillance” is extremely challenging. We created most of the movieTHRIVE over encrypted lines so that our efforts would not be interfered with by those who try to control others by suppressing truth.

People are often asking the Thrive team for advice on dealing with online security issues. Our resident tech wizards offered to compile some useful tips to pass on to the network.

— Kimberly & Foster

By Rob Leslie & Goa Lobaugh

In today’s world, digital information is pervasive. Nearly every detail about our lives and our communications is processed, transmitted, and stored digitally in some way. This is both a technical marvel that allows us to share knowledge and ideas in unprecedented ways across boundless distances, and also a challenge to us to ensure the privacy and integrity of the things we choose to share.

As was stated in the movie THRIVE, and in a previous blog on surveillance, and as Edward Snowden’s revelations confirmed, there are some people who want to have access to all our personal digital information and eavesdrop on all our conversations, and they have the resources and are willing to go to great lengths to do it. Ostensibly they want to do this so they can protect us from others who would harm us, but in doing so they also disrespect us byviolating our privacy and in some cases violating the integrity of our communications without our permission.
In a thriving world, it is our responsibility to protect the privacy and integrity of our own digital information, just as we take steps to protect our physical property from thieves, vandals, or prying eyes. As with physical security, there are a variety of threats to our digital information, and accordingly a variety of tools we can use to mitigate those threats. Technology and policy are both moving targets, so it is important to stay vigilant in order to keep current with best practices. Below are some of the best practices we’ve found to secure our digital information.

Threats to Our Digital Information

In THRIVE, it was said that “every phone call and email we send is collected and archived, and can be inspected at any time.” Snowden explained that this wholesale collection of information is not necessarily reviewed immediately or used to build dossiers on specific people, but rather is archived in long-term storage that can be queried at any time in the future.

Snowden also showed a variety of the methods used to collect this information, from wiretapping various Internet connection points, to working directly with technology companies that have access to information, to interdicting the shipment of hardware and implanting custom software that will aid in the collection, and many others. While some of these methods are targeted at specific individuals or groups, others are not. The threats to our digital information, then, can vary depending on who has it, and how badly someone else wants to get it.

The fact that some technology companies are so easily willing to release the information entrusted to them shows us the value of choosing the companies we share our information with, reviewing the privacy policies of those companies, and of carefully selecting the information we ultimately share. This is of course easier said than done, and in many cases we simply want the service more than we want to hassle over finding an alternative, if there even is one. Clearly, few enjoy reading privacy policies or terms and conditions, even though they form an integral part of the agreement between you and the company providing you a service, and often reveal the level of respect you can expect the company to have for you and your personal information.

There are, of course, threats beyond these. Some people are interested in obtaining your personal information or intercepting your communications in order to contact and persuade you to buy their products, or to trick and defraud you. Other people are interested in gaining control over your computers and will attempt to spread malware (in the form of acomputer virus or rootkit) so they can use your hardware and Internet connection for their own purposes, including sending spam, launchingdenial-of-service attacks against others, capturing keystrokes and passwords, mining or stealing bitcoin, collecting all of the personal information on your computer, or just trying to prevent you from copying a CD.

You may also have personal adversaries that are interested in you or your communications for some reason—maybe a competitor, a jealous lover, a paid troll, or a rogue actor intent on sabotaging your inventions or perhaps just your point of view. There are many reasons to want to protect the privacy and integrity of your personal information. Even if you do not feel personally at risk, it is useful to recognize the levels of surveillance that are happening. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act made it illegal and punishable by imprisonment with no access to legal defense to speak out against government policies, and recently a report funded by the Department of Homeland Security named sovereign individuals as the number one domestic threat in America. Awareness of this is an important step in taking responsibility to stop it.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there are threats to our digital information in the form of public policy decisions. Some people would like to make it illegal for anyone to use encryption, and fear a world in which encryption prevents them from accessing information they are not a party to. Others would like to force all companies to give up information about their users. Still others might try to use so-called “net neutrality” regulations as a Trojan horse to impose additional surveillance. Vigilance is essential to keep what little privacy we do have from disappearing completely.

Best Practices for Securing Digital Information

The good news is that there are concrete things we can still do to improve our personal digital security. The very things that threaten our digital information have also motivated privacy-conscious individuals and companies to differentiate themselves by developing and offering products and services with high standards for privacy and security. Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Thrive, and people like Snowden, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Julian Assange as well as others have brought the issue into mainstream discussions where we have an opportunity to influence and shift belief systems toward a world in which no one’s privacy is violated against their will.

No solution is 100% guaranteed, and all require some work to employ. The first and easiest thing you can do is to be mindful of what you agree to, and the information you share in the first place. You may be surprised by the amount of privacy you agree to give up in exchange for the services some companies and apps offer to provide, and might want to seek alternatives when the terms feel unacceptable to you.
The next thing you can do is to use encryption wherever possible. Snowden informs us that when implemented and used properly, encryption can help secure information against practically all known forms of eavesdropping and tampering. That’s a big help, but also a big condition—encryption is fundamentally complex, and easy to get wrong. There is even speculation that some cryptographic algorithms may have been deliberately and surreptitiously weakened to reduce their effectiveness. It’s also important to realize that even if implemented and used properly, encryption is not a panacea. For example, the fact that you used encryption may be utterly obvious to outside observers (and attract their interest as a result), as may be the source, destination, size, or frequency of your messages or data. Furthermore, encryption can only ensure privacy if performed in an environment that has not already been compromised. A computer virus, or other malware disguised as an otherwise useful app, might still be eavesdropping on the information you’re trying to encrypt. Even so, encryption is the best option we have when we want to ensure our privacy.

Finally, we believe it is important for us all to speak up about the importance of digital security and the violations caused by misguided public policy. Together we can make it clear that it is not acceptable to spy on, intercept, tamper with, or misuse the private communications and personal information of others, and we can support the pioneering efforts of those who are both developing solutions and taking on the public policy issues.

Tools and Technology Tips

Here is some specific advice on the kinds of tools available to help secure your digital privacy:

Instant Messaging

OTR stands for “Off-the-Record Messaging” and is an encryption protocol made specially for instant messaging. It provides “deniable authentication” which allows you to be sure of the authenticity of the messages you receive from the other party in a way that can’t be proved to anyone else.

There are several reasonably priced, free, or subscription apps that use OTR, includingTextSecure for Android, ChatSecure for iOS and Android, and Jitsi for Windows, Mac, and Linux, among many others.

Silent Circle is a paid service that offers a suite of tools for state of the art encryption for text, as well as voice and video communications. Phil Zimmermann, a pioneer in the field and creator of PGP and ZRTP, is one of their developers.

The Silent Circle source code, as well as TextSecure is available for review on GitHub, adding another layer of protection with the transparency of their system, increasing the likelihood of vulnerabilities being exposed and patched quickly.

Telephone Conversations

For smartphones, as mentioned before, Silent Circle offers an encrypted voice and video option. Another option is Open Whisper Systems’ Signal for iOS and RedPhone for Android.

The folks at Silent Circle have also partnered with a smartphone manufacturer to create theBlackphone, an entire smartphone built for secure communications. It includes its own privacy focused operating system, PrivatOS, which prohibits backdoor access, and other common hacks.

Online Searching and Browsing

Here are some tips to improve your online privacy:
  • Instead of Google, use search engines offering strong privacy protection, such asStartPageIxquick or DuckDuckGo.
  • Connect to sites using HTTPS whenever possible (e.g. using HTTPS Everywhere), and always when transferring personal information. HTTPS refers to a standard for encrypting communications with web servers, also known as TLS or SSL. (HTTPS imposes certain costs on web servers to support it, so not all do. Some sites, including our own at Thrive, use HTTPS when submitting or transferring sensitive personal information.)
  • Use Tor when you want or need to browse the web in complete anonymity.
  • For additional privacy (especially when traveling), use Tails to start almost any computer from portable media and leave no trace when you are done.
  • If you regularly communicate with colleagues in multiple locations, consider setting up a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt all communications between the sites using OpenVPN or IPsec. This is an advanced but effective technique for taking direct responsibility over the privacy of your communications. Some commercial services also offer VPN tunnels you can use to connect privately to the Internet.


Probably the most widely used encryption standard for email is PGP (also GPG) which can be used both to sign and encrypt messages. PGP relies on a decentralized “web of trust” to provide confidence that the key you use to encrypt messages to someone (or to verify the signatures of someone) actually belongs to the person in question, and is not a decoy or forgery. In practice this usually means meeting in person once to verify the other person’s key fingerprint, or relying on the judgment of others you trust who have directly or indirectly confirmed this themselves.

You can find software available for Mac,Windows, and Linux.

Computer Security

Unless your computer is never connected to the Internet, there are always risks to the information stored on it. Often the worst risks come from trusting software of questionable origin — for example, free apps that you can download from the Internet. While operating systems are getting better at insulating your private information (like your address book contacts and your calendar) from random apps and require your permission before allowing access, there may still be loopholes. It is always better to err on the side of caution by not running software you don’t trust completely. This is why it is good advice never to open email attachments you don’t recognize or from people you don’t know, and also why open source software is preferable to closed-source: you benefit when the software source code can be reviewed for integrity by anyone.

It’s worth noting that any time you are asked to enter an administrative password on your computer, you are essentially giving the app making the request complete and unrestricted access to do anything with your computer; consider whether you really trust the app in question before granting such permission.
Assuming you trust your computer and all the software it runs well enough not to be compromised, here are some tools you can use to encrypt your files:
  • Mac: Encrypt your entire startup disk withFileVault (System Preferences… > Security & Privacy > FileVault), or create an encrypted image for a smaller set of files using Disk Utility. In recent versions of OS X, you can also use Disk Utility to encrypt an external disk (see Help > Disk Utility Help for details).
  • Windows: Until it was discontinued last year,TrueCrypt was a popular option for encrypting files on Windows. VeraCrypt andCipherShed have been identified as current alternatives. Some recent versions of Windows also include built-in encryption facilities, and Windows 8.1 may automatically encrypt everything on your hard drive by default.
  • Linux: Encrypt disk partitions using dm-crypt(e.g. cryptsetup/LUKS) or encrypt individual files with GnuPG.


Any time you rely on encryption, it is critical to use a good passphrase, or the effort will be for naught. It turns out this is not as easy as you might think. Fortunately, we can recommend asimple and reliable technique to generate extremely secure passphrases.

Cloud Services

While the ubiquity of “cloud” services like Dropbox, Google Docs, or iCloud makes them attractive and convenient, it’s important to realize that we give up several layers of control (both physical and digital) when we use these services. Be conscious of the power you give away to the cloud operators, and understand their policies. If privacy is essential, encrypt your files before storing them in the cloud, or consider using a service with higher standards for privacy.


Be aware that many devices today want to connect to the “cloud” to store and retrieve data, whether they are mobile phones, tablets, game systems, “smart” TVs, or other “smart” appliances. Often this data contains personal information about you, even a recording of your voice if you make requests that way. It may be disconcerting to realize the TV in your living room may be listening to you and sending what it hears to a remote third party, so if this bothers you, consider turning such features off if you can, or vote with your wallet and don’t purchase devices with these capabilities. Also let the companies know that you chose not to purchase their device for this reason.

Additional Resources

CIA self-help book: how to win friends and interrogate people

Source: The Guardian

A new guide from some former intelligence agents promises to train you to elicit the truth from ‘targets’ such as ‘the plumber’ or your own children

An “elicitation”, they call it. The word “interrogation” has such nasty connotations, doesn’t it? Especially when used in conjunction with the letters C, I and A. So three alumni of the US intelligence agency aim to rebrand the inquisitorial process with a new book called Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All.
Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero believe the methods that have helped them to winkle out traitors in various unspecified sandy locations could help all of us in our business and general lives. And, perhaps, as parents.
Here are five handy learnings:

1) An elicitation is a monologue, not a dialogue

Surprising, this, but true. The interrog- sorry, elicitator is trying to create an environment in which the vic- sorry, interviewee will want to give up the truth. That means implying that you already know what they’ve done, you completely understand the pressures that led to their error of judgment, and if they take you into their confidence, this whole silly misunderstanding can be fixed.

2) Cultivate short-term thinking

You want the interviewee concentrating on trying to please you, in the here and now. The moment he or she starts thinking of the likely long-term consequences – professionally, judicially and physically – of confessing that he or she has been ratting out the agency to a foreign power, he or she will tend to clam up.

3) Do no harm

The last thing your interviewee wants to feel is that you’re sitting in judgment like some big old judgey-judgey sourpuss: “The simple fact is that no good can come from being judgmental of a person in an interrogation situation – in fact, it can severely harm the process.”

4) Good cop/bad cop

... is an invention of Hollywood movies. It doesn’t work. The whole point is to make them feel you’re on their side.

5) “Enhanced interrogation”

… may be, like, totally legitimate – the authors are for guessable reasons loudly agnostic on the matter – but it doesn’t work so well. Getting the Truth “isn’t about instilling fear – it’s about minimising or eliminating it”. Plus: hello, Iraq? Also: it’s unsuitable in a white-collar environment.

30 March 2015

Could the Bitcoin Lightning Network Solve Blockchain Scalability?

Source: Coindesk

 (@yessi_kbello) |Published on March 26, 2015 at 16:16 BST

The blockchain's increasing size continues to raise concerns about its ability to accommodate transaction growth.
But, could a decentralised system where transactions are sent over a network of off-blockchain micropayment channels solve the ledger's scalability problems?
Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja, the developers behind the Bitcoin Lightning Network, think so.
Although still in its nascent stage, the Lightning Network – based on a recent white paper – aims to solve the scalability issue by implementing hashed timelock contracts between users.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network came to life in 2013, when Poon, "like many before him", he says, had the idea for hub and spoke payment channels. Dryja came on board soon after, making scripting and transactions more compact.
Poon told CoinDesk:
"I think that it is important to look at the way financial systems work because bitcoin development is replaying the history of money. The Lightning Network has significant similarities with how existing financial systems solve this problem."
"We hope to help solve bitcoin scalability and instant transactions, enabling bitcoin to encompass all transactions – even many thousands of micropayments per person," he concluded.
Initial challenges included the realisation that the solution required the implementation of a soft-fork; a change to the bitcoin protocol that serves to invalidate pervious blocks and transactions, although the old nodes still recognise the new blocks as valid.

The scalability problem

Full bitcoin nodes are required to store a record of every single transaction that takes place, and as this record grows, that in turn is decreasing the amount of people willing to pay for the escalating costs of running nodes.
For this reason, the developers believe that bitcoin's open ledger does not suffice as a lone payment platform.
To put this into perspective, according to the white paper, the Visa payment network is believed to complete 45,000 transactions per second during a standard holiday period. This increases to hundreds of millions on an average business day.
Bitcoin currently supports approximately seven transactions per second, and is limited to one megabyte of block space. To achieve more than 45,000 transactions per second, Poon and Dryja say that bitcoin transactions must be conducted off the blockchain itself.
The white paper notes:
"If only two parties care about a transaction, it's not necessary for all other nodes in the bitcoin network to know about that transaction. It is instead preferable to only have the bare minimum of information on the blockchain."
It continues: "It is desirable for two individuals to net out their relationship at a later date, rather than detailing every transaction on the blockchain. This can be achieved by using timelocks as a component to global consensus."

The Bitcoin Lightning Network

While this may sound complicated, essentially it works like this – If all bitcoin transactions are being discussed in an open forum, its public ledger, the lightning network allows parties to enter into a closed room for a period of time, conduct transactions during that period, and at the end of the agreed time, broadcast these transactions to the network.
The white paper states:
"The obligation to deliver funds to an end-recipient is achieved through a process of chained delegation. Each participant along the path assumes the obligation to deliver a particular recipient. They pass on this obligation to the next participant in the path."
Supporters of the proposal suggest this is an improvement over the current transaction systems employed by bitcoin services companies like Coinbase, where transactions are conducted off-blockchain, or away from the network.
They argue that in such scenarios, bitcoins on the network are controlled by Coinbase to avoid the complications of settling small transactions in real-time on the network. Lightning, they argue, presents an alternative where users are in control of funds.
The Lightning Network is not the only project seeking for a sustainable solution to micropayments, however.
BlockCypher recently proposed a solution by which it plans to "calculate miners' fees opportunistically" to ensure microtransactions are added to the blockchain. The system is already in use by Zapchain, the bitcoin-focused social network that recently launched a dedicated micropayments channel.

Decrementing timelocks

A hash-time locked contract is first opened by creating a transaction output which only the final recipient can redeem.
The recipient will generate random data 'R', and then hash 'R' using hash(R) to produce 'H'. This information is passed on directly from the receiver to the sender of the funds, along with the recipient's bitcoin address.
The sender then routes the payment to the receiver. Once the receiver has received an updated transaction in a micropayment channel, the recipient may elect to redeem the transaction by disclosing 'R', pulling the funds form the sender.
Fig Bitcoin Lightning network
Source: The Bitcoin Lightning Network White Paper
The purpose of the hash locked contract is to require message 'R' to be disclosed in order for the transaction to be broadcast on the blockchain before a certain date.
However, if Dave does not produce 'R' for Carol within the established time limit, then Carol will be able to close the hash locked time contract.
The receiver will never disclose 'R' unless they are certain that they will receive payment from one of the channel's counterparties. If a party disconnects the channel, the counterparty will be responsible for broadcasting the current commitment transaction state on the blockchain.

Associated risks

However, Poon's and Dryja's proposal does not come without an element of associated risk.
Time is of essence. Participants have to give each other enough time to complete the transaction. If not, invalid transactions may pass off as valid, enabling coins to be stolen.
Additionally, the developers explain that it is unlikely that all participants are honest. If a malicious party creates various channels and makes them all expire at once, this would overwhelm data capacity and would mean that the transaction would have to broadcast on to the chain.
This "mass spamming" of the bitcoin network could potentially delay transactions to the point where other timelocked transactions are also validated.
Then there's the issue of connectivity. In this system, all parties must be online to use private keys. If someone's computer is compromised, counterparty theft may also take place.
The counterparty may also be able to steal funds if one of the participants losses data. This can be mitigated by installing a third-party data storage service where encrypted data gets sent to this third party service. Additionally, the white paper notes:
"One should choose channel counterparties who are responsible and willing to provide the current state, with some periodic tests of honesty."

Community reaction

The Bitcoin Lightning network is certainly a bold attempt at solving the blockchain's scalability issues. But, is it a viable one?
Peter Todd, a bitcoin core developer, believes it is, although he says that it needs to be contextualised further.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Todd, said:
"If the bitcoin blockchain were a horse, ordinary hub-and-spoke payment channel proposals would be proposing to replace that horse with a truck; the Lightning guys are proposing to replace that horse with a rocket ship."
The prominent core developer said that while he was sure that Lightning could be a good system. He was noted that it will require more work to realise, as it's a much bigger project, one that also requires consensus from the community. "It'll also require a soft fork to get off the ground," he concluded.
Despite these relative shortcomings, Todd praised the system. He said that Lightning was proposing that users change how they use bitcoin in exchange for allowing the system to scale, without decreasing its security. He pointed out that for those who think that bitcoin is potentially under threat of regulation or attack, this was a good trade off to make.
Dryja and Poon coincide with Todd's reservations, agreeing that more works needs to be done before the project can completely take off. Dryja said:
"There's some foundational work that's needed before Lightning Network can be built out, not just the malleability fix and confirmations opcode. There's no widely used way to transfer data between participants; this impedes use of multi-sig even today."
The developer confirmed that they were still looking into easy-to-use messaging and authentication, independent of the bitcoin network.
Poon confirmed that they are expecting to release a revised version of the white paper and that next steps would probably include the "BIP (Bitcoin Improvement) and community input".
Pete Rizzo contributed reporting.

What do you think about the proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.

British Banking Association: Bitcoin is a Real Threat to Banks

Source: Coindesk

 (@emilyspaven) |Published on March 27, 2015 at 13:47 BST

As cryptocurrencies grow in popularity, they will continue to threaten revenue streams of the traditional banking system, according to a new report from the British Banking Association (BBA).
A section of The Digital Disruption: UK Banking Report looks specifically at cryptocurrencies and the impact they have already had, and will continue to have, on people's perceptions of monetary transfer.
"Cryptocurrencies increasingly look like becoming ubiquitous challengers to more familiar, established currencies. And, as they grow in popularity, so too will the risks for banks," the report reads.
It goes on to emphasise issues presented and faced by bitcoin, including its volatility, its perception as a haven for illegal payments activityand its relatively low market cap ($3.4bn at press time).
However, the report concedes that the risks presented to the banking system by bitcoin should not be ignored:
"Bitcoin users can handle many of their daily payments needs themselves, without the need for interaction with banks, and avoiding the need to incur bank fees. In the same way, value stored in PayPal accounts moves outside of the bank’s payment systems, depriving banks of valuable payments revenue."
The BBA believes it is important for banks to take action now, investing time and energy in understanding how best to use the technology behind bitcoin.

"Banks must accept that they are increasingly part of the broader ecosystems that customers are constructing around themselves. However, their place in these ecosystems is far from secure," the report concludes.

Feds: Banks Should Call Police if Customer Withdraws More Than $5k in Cash

Source: Sputnik News

The Justice Department has been advocating for bank tellers across the US to call police on their customers who withdraw $5,000 or more in cash.
"A senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police," said investor and financial blogger Simon Black.
Banks are already required to file a "Suspicious Activity Report" (SAR) should they suspect an unusual activity. But now the feds are saying these suspicious reports are not enough.
"[W]e encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem, who may be able to seize the funds, initiate an investigation, or take other proactive steps," the official told Black.
So, how do these institutions know when to take action?
As stated in the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council handbook, banks are obligated to file a SAR when "transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…"
Such order justifies the banks’ submission of these suspicious activity reports for perfectly legal actions as simple as withdrawing cash, especially that they are required by the federal government to submit a certain number of SARs a month for investigation.
Banks could lose their banking charter and face fines if they don’t meet the quota. 
Banks like Chase are imposing other capital control strategies, such as mandating identification for depositing cash and banning cash deposit into another person’s account.
In 2014, banks filed more than 700,000 suspicious activity reports.

Putin Security Council Slams Obama Attempts At "New World Order"

Source: ZeroHedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/25/2015 18:35 -0400

Moscow — which may or may not have to nuke Denmark — says the US has adopted a national security strategy that is decidedly anti-Russian.Although attempts to prove how “isolated” Putin truly is on the geopolitical stage haven’t fared very well of late (what with Russian bombers refueling at former U.S. air bases and Putin plotting Eurasian currency unions) and although Washington’s experience with China’s AIIB membership drive seems to indicate it may be the US that is in fact isolated, The Kremlin doesn’t think The White House is likely to give up on its attempts to ostracize Russia any time soon. 
From a Russian Security Council statement entitled "About The US National Security Strategy":
In the long term, the United States, in cooperation with its allies will continue the policy of political and economic isolation of Russia, including limiting its ability to export energy and the displacement of all markets for military products, while making it difficult for the production of high-tech products in Russia.
Putin's security council then proceeds to deliver a remarkably accurate description of Washington’s foreign policy aims including the desire to show off NATO military capabilities (on full display along the Russian border currently), installing puppet governments and propping them up with financial and military support (which is precisely what’s going on now in Ukraine as the US is set to provide military assistance and also financial assistance via a Ukrainian bond issue back by the full faith and credit of the US government), and preserving US hegemony by taking unilateral action across the globe at Washington’s behest (something the US does all the time):
The Strategy emphasizes the US desire to proceed with the formation of a new global economic order. A special place in this order should take a Trans-Pacific Partnership and transatlantic trade and investment partnership that will enable the US central position in the free trade zones, covering two-thirds of the world economy.

The armed forces are considered as the basis of US national security and military superiority is considered a major factor in the American world leadership. While maintaining the continuity of the plants to use military force unilaterally and anywhere in the world, as well as to maintain a military presence abroad...

Significant efforts by the US and its allies will be directed to the formation of anti-Russian policy states, with which Russia has established partnership relations, as well as to reduce Russian influence in the former Soviet Union.

Continue the policy of preserving the global dominance of the United States, increasing the combat capabilities of NATO, as well as to strengthen the US military presence in the Asia-Tihokeanskom region. Military force will continue to be considered as the primary means of ensuring national security and interests of the United States.

Becoming more widespread to eliminate unwanted US political regimes acquire advanced technology "color revolutions" with a high probability of their application in relation to Russia.

Thus, the strategy was developed on the basis of American exceptionalism, the right to take unilateral action to protect and promote the interests of the United Statesin the world and bears the active anti-Russian charge.
So all in all, the Kremlin looks to be hilariously spot-on with this assessment. Here’s a bit more fromRussian News
Russian Security Council specialists say that by and large the US Strategy is based on the principle of US exclusiveness and assertion of the right to take unilateral action to press for US interests around the world and has a strong anti-Russian thrust.

Regarding the relationship Russia, the Security Council believes it is likely that the United States plans to continue its policy aimed at isolating Russia in the long term, including by imposing restrictions on opportunities of exports of oil and gas.
Uh oh Washington, it looks like they're on to you.