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Privacy Struggle Continues.

To the Editor:

As the former staffer for Rep. Ron Paul who led the fight against Know Your Customer, I was delighted to read your article on its return ("Sneak Attack: A stealth campaign by U.S. regulators to turn private bankers into policemen," (see The International Economy's May/June 2001 issue), but a few points need clarification. Rep. Paul had opposed the legislation directing the Federal Reserve and other regulators to propose the KYC rule, testified against it (http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec99/kyc-hearing-calsc.htm), organized other Congressmen against it (http://www.house.gov/paul/privacy/kyc.htm), and activated his national grass roots network against the proposal. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity, while doing great work on the tax competition issue, was not even in existence during the KYC struggle and none of its principles were engaged on the issue at that time.

While in Rep. Paul's office, I also worked closely with the Free Congress Foundation's Coalition for Constitutional Liberties and its 800+ member organizations to educate the public on the privacy implications of KYC. It was this coalition that generated most of the comments to the regulators--many through the Libertarian Party's DefendYourPrivacy.com web site. I have teamed up with Free Congress to double our efforts for privacy and against KYC. We are leading the initiative against the global KYC initiative. Our coalition and letter by forty-three organizations (http://www.freecongress.org/) are credited with forcing the Bush administration to review their policies.

Your article mentions that bankers felt secure that KYC was dormant as long as Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) chaired the banking committee. Since your article was written, Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) has taken the helm. He is a strong KYC proponent and an original cosponsor of Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) S 398, the International Counter-Money Laundering and Foreign Anticormption Act of 2001. Rep. John LaFalce (D-N.Y.) introduced the House version, HR 1114, of the global KYC bill. These proposals are a blueprint for privacy violations, an invitation for identity theft, and a threat to data security. KYC proponents remain active, and its opponents at Free Congress remain vigilant.

--J. BRADLEY JANSEN Deputy Director, Center for Technology Policy Free Congress Foundation
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Article Details
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Author:JANSEN, J. BRADLEY
Publication:The International Economy
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:371
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