New Report Calls For Focused Information Exchange To Better Protect Information Privacy While Strengthening The Financial War On

Alexandria, VA – To bolster the financial War on Terrorism, the United States ought to take the lead in forming an international Convention on Privacy and Information Exchange, says a new Report on Financial Privacy, Law Enforcement, and Terrorism, just released by the Task Force on Information Exchange and Financial Privacy. CEI Senior Analyst Solveig Singleton is one of the authors of the report.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“Current U.S. policy on the sharing of financial information with other nations fails to protect the security of the American people, while damaging the financial privacy rights of individuals,” said former U.S. Senator Mack Mattingly, Chairman of the Task Force.  “Current safeguards are insufficient to prevent information from being used by parties hostile to U.S. security interests, or for inappropriate commercial, political, civil, tax or other purposes.  An international convention on this critical issue is long overdue.”


According to the Report, information, including financial information, about terrorists and criminals should be routinely shared between the U.S. and reliable democratic countries.  To achieve this goal, the Task Force recommends that the United States take the lead in forming an international Convention on Privacy and Information Exchange, which would streamline and improve the exchange of information for law enforcement and anti-terrorism purposes.  The Convention would also establish, under international law, enforceable restrictions on the use of shared information, and it would establish a private right of action to enforce individual legal rights.


Members of the Task Force on Information Exchange and Financial Privacy include tax, legal, economic, and law enforcement experts from many of the nation’s leading public policy organizations.  The Senior Advisors to the Task Force include the Hon. Jack Kemp (former Republican Vice Presidential candidate) and the Hon. Edwin Meese, III (former U.S. Attorney General).


In its newly released Report on Financial Privacy, Law Enforcement and Terrorism, the Task Force also recommends that the U.S.:


¨       Better target money laundering laws to reduce the collection of massive amounts of information on people whom the government has no significant reason to suspect of unlawful activity, in order to focus on those who are truly believed to be potential risks.


¨       Withdraw the proposed interest reporting regulation, which is unnecessary to enforce U.S. tax law, and is likely to cause substantial amounts of needed foreign capital to leave the U.S.


¨       Oppose the creation of a United Nations International Tax Organization, which could result in private information on U.S. nationals being provided to hostile and repressive governments, and denial of other basic liberties.


¨       Oppose the OECD Harmful Tax Competition initiative, which would unjustly punish small low tax countries for adopting the same policies as the U.S. and would result in the unrestricted disclosure of private financial and tax information to countries that may misuse such information.


¨       Modify the U.S. Treasury’s qualified intermediary (QI) rules that unnecessarily discourage foreign investment into the U.S., are excessively complex, and require information not needed to enforce U.S. law.


¨       Reject the European Union’s Savings Tax Directive that would violate due-process and other legal protections and cause some capital flight from the U.S.


Copies of the Task Force Report are available from the Prosperity Institute, at 333 N. Fairfax St., Suite 302, Alexandria, VA  22314, tel. (703) 548-5868, or on the website. (PDF Format)


For more information, please contact Richard Morrison at (202) 331-1010 or [email protected].