Feb 122016
 February 12, 2016  Business, Surveillance

We all have reason to be concerned about mammoth databases compiled by companies we’ve never even heard of, as their data can be used in ways that harms us on so many levels.

Joe Cadillic sent along a link to a recent article on VICE by Namir Shabibi and Ben Bryant that’s worth reading as a bit of an eye-opener.  The article begins:

An American Muslim civil rights leader praised by George W. Bush, an economist honored by the British Queen, and a prominent anti-extremism campaigner have all been secretly given a “terrorism” designation on a confidential database that banks use as a reference tool for blacklisting customers, a VICE News investigation can reveal.

The highly influential World-Check database has also listed major charities, activists, and mainstream religious institutions under its category of “terrorism”. Dozens of terror profiles in the database owned by Thomson Reuters seen by VICE News include:

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director, Nihad Awad, one of a select group of American Muslim leaders invited to join former US President George W. Bush in a press conference condemning the 9/11 attacks. CAIR, the recipient of multiple leadership awards, is also terror-listed by World-Check.
  • Liberal Democrat politician Maajid Nawaz, who founded counter-extremism think tank Quilliam and has advised successive British prime ministers.
  • Former World Bank and Bank of England advisor Mohamed Iqbal Asaria, who was given a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award in the 2005 Queen’s Honours List for services to international development.

The confidential service, part of an unregulated industry, claims that it is used by over 300 government and intelligence agencies, 49 of the 50 biggest banks, pre-employment vetting agencies and 9 of the top 10 global law firms.

Read more on VICE.

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