SC

South Carolina: Credit Card Guinea Pig?

Earlier this week we filed a report on the federal government’s massive credit card snooping program … a warrantless spy scheme that’s being run (unconstitutionally we might add) under the auspices of the recently created U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Missed that story? Click here … Anyway, this program was…

Earlier this week we filed a report on the federal government’s massive credit card snooping program … a warrantless spy scheme that’s being run (unconstitutionally we might add) under the auspices of the recently created U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Missed that story? Click here …

Anyway, this program was exposed via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog. Among other things, Judicial Watch’s FOIA revealed that the CFPB “has spent millions of dollars for the warrantless collection and analysis of Americans’ financial transactions.” It also revealed this information is being shared with “other agencies,” which of course means it is likely being routed to the massive National Security Agency (NSA) spy center in Utah.

Why are we writing about any of this this? Well, the credit card snooping is a major national story – part of the broader domestic spying narrative – but it’s also one which could have serious South Carolina ramifications.

What are we referring to?

Let’s rewind the tape to October 26, 2012 – when S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley revealed that her Department of Revenue (SCDOR) had been subjected to the largest state-level data breach in American history. Over a period of several weeks in August and September of last year, as-yet-unidentified hackers robbed the agency of 3.8 million Social Security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers, tax info for more than 650,000 businesses and nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers.

SCDOR never knew what happened … and it took Haley more than two weeks after belatedly discovering the breach to alert the public.

Haley initially claimed that “there wasn’t anything where anyone in state government could have done anything” to stop the breach – and that the Palmetto State used “industry standard” data security methods. Both of those claims turned out to be completely false.

In the wake of the hacking, Haley made an executive decision to spend $12 million on a controversial no-bid credit monitoring contract with Experian – a global information services firm. Of course Haley was repeatedly grilled over inconsistencies regarding the timing of the contract and the consideration (or lack thereof) given to other companies. Not only that, Haley’s administration told several flat out mistruths regarding Experian’s “exclusive” services, which it turns out other companies not only provided – but provided at cheaper costs.

So … what does the #SCHacked scandal (and Haley’s Experian deal) have to do with the federal government’s credit card snooping program?

Glad you asked … according to the Judicial Watch FOIA, around the time these mysterious hackers were draining the SCDOR of its data, the feds entered into an “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” contract with … you guessed it … Experian. This contract – worth more than $8 million annually – calls on the company to assist the feds in tracking the “daily consumer habits of select individuals without their awareness or consent.”

Hmmmmm …

The company also agreed to turn over sensitive proprietary information as part of its deal with the CFPB.

Adding another layer of intrigue to all this? The bizarre back story surrounding the SCDOR hacking – which remains an open case (a.k.a. “unsolved mystery”). As we reported exclusively less than forty-eight hours after the Haley administration went public with the news of the breach, our sources indicated the federal government was participating in a multi-jurisdictional “sting” aimed at apprehending the eastern European cyber terrorists alleged to have perpetrated the data heist.

Part of this “sting?” An alleged ransom demand made by the hackers – which has recently drawn the attention of S.C. Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg).

It’s hard to know where to start with the questions, but here are a few we’ve come up with off the tops of our heads …

1) Who hacked the S.C. Department of Revenue?
2) Why is it taking state and federal agents so long to identify and apprehend the assailants?
3) Did South Carolina pay a ransom as part of law enforcement efforts to apprehend the hackers?
4) Why wasn’t the Experian contract with South Carolina competitively bid?
5) Why did the Haley administration mislead the public about the Experian contract?
6) Was the Haley administration aware South Carolina citizens’ data might or was being transferred by Experian to the federal government?
7) South Carolina is home to many politicians who criticize the federal government – was their personal financial information transferred?

Will we ever get answers to these inquiries?

Don’t hold your breath, people …

***

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36 comments

GrandTango July 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm

LMAO….Wile E. Coyote….LMAO….

What has FITS and the democrat party F*#K#D to this point: No one has been hacked…

I’m likely much more safe now..and the government is taking money I GAVE them, and paying for my cyber security…

I would not be surprised to see you desperate Idiots make a bunch of fabricated claims close to the election, to try to make hay. But to this point, you have really looked like the Dumb@$$#$ you are…You’re reduced to hoping for South Carolinians to get robbed, so you can get political points for liberals and liberal-tarians…LMAO….

Reply
chickenoregg July 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Are you suggesting we have not been hacked? Are you suggesting this is not a serious matter? Are you suggesting we do nothing to protect ourselves? This is a serious matter–not a silly dialectic debate. You need to get some perspective.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 2, 2013 at 11:25 pm

This is a serious matter–not a silly dialectic debate.

Dude….you are debating BigT/GrandTango.

How can I put this?…….

Let’s just say that he probably is not well versed in Hegelian political philosophy.

*cough* T is the Rachel Jeantel of FITSNEWS posters.*cough*

Perhaps you could have said :

“This ain’t no party…
THIS AIN’T NO DISCO….
THIS AIN’T NO FOOLIN’ AROUND!”

or you could have just called him a “dumb@$$ motherf##ker”.

Reply
dwb619 July 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Fabricated claims, like,

“I wasn’t allowed in the Miss Bamberg pageant because I was neither Negro or White”, or,

“My daughter won first place in her school pageant”.
That kind of fabricated claim?
You make it too easy.
Also, please note, no keyboard kussing contained.
Let me end with one of your favorite quotes, followed by an up and comer:
YOU BETCHA!
YOU BETCHA!
Let Allah figure it out.

Reply
chickenoregg July 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

This is one of the biggest failures of government I have ever seen. We in SC will have our financial information forever in jeopardy. Thanks, Nikki Haley.

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chickenoregg July 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

This is one of the biggest failures of government I have ever seen. We in SC will have our financial information forever in jeopardy. Thanks, Nikki Haley.

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CNSYD July 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Whether the CFPB and its operations are Constitutional is a matter for SCOTUS. CFPB, rightly or wrongly, exists as a result of legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President. If you want to test its Constitutionality, I suggest you petition SCOTUS. Ranting on an internet blog will not settle the matter.

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CNSYD July 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Whether the CFPB and its operations are Constitutional is a matter for SCOTUS. CFPB, rightly or wrongly, exists as a result of legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President. If you want to test its Constitutionality, I suggest you petition SCOTUS. Ranting on an internet blog will not settle the matter.

Reply
Jim July 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Technology is a good reason to clean house in legislature everywhere. We have legislator that have to have staff to explain “What’s going on” and hacking is not clearing your throat. No senior needed

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OK July 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Technology is a good reason to clean house in legislature everywhere. We have legislator that have to have staff to explain “What’s going on” and hacking is not clearing your throat. No senior needed

Reply
tomstickler July 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Are the people objecting to collection of telephony metadata by the US government pleased when a police investigation of a crime is able to solve it because that metadata can be accessed?

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Curious July 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Yeah, when there’s a warrant.

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tomstickler July 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

A warrant is worthless unless some agency has collected the metadata in the first place. Do you trust a private corporation to hold this data — for how long? their call? — or for a government agency to hold it?

We already know that private corporations are selling and trading their data on us for private monetary gain.

Reply
Curious July 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

Private corps don’t have the legal use of force at their discretion. Govt. does. That’s the prob.

Reply
Too many sheep July 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Tom, a warrant can be obtained and this information obtained after the fact – it is kept by the phone companies already for the most part for months. Also, these programs are costing the tax payer tens if not hundred of billions – yes, that is the cost of Obamacare and the Bush wars put together – we better be solving a lot of fucking crimes I’d hope.

This is also the technology they used to catch Gen. Patraeus – who along with this girlfriend was using an old spy method of just typing draft e-mails then the other would sign in, and read/delete it. The government is ALREADY reading and obtaining THAT information from private e-mail accounts. And you are totally okay with that??? Amazing.

Reply
Roberto July 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

Yes sir. I am objecting to the collection of metadata for any reason except for billing purposes. With that data they can determine where you were, who you called and how long you talked. With that what you talked about can then be grabbed and looked at when desired.

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Frank Pytel July 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

NO

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tomstickler July 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Are the people objecting to collection of telephony metadata by the US government pleased when a police investigation of a crime is able to solve it because that metadata can be accessed?

Reply
Curious July 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Yeah, when there’s a warrant.

Reply
tomstickler July 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

A warrant is worthless unless some agency has collected the metadata in the first place. Do you trust a private corporation to hold this data — for how long? their call? — or for a government agency to hold it?

We already know that private corporations are selling and trading their data on us for private monetary gain.

Reply
Curious July 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

Private corps don’t have the legal use of force at their discretion. Govt. does. That’s the prob.

Reply
Too many sheep July 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Tom, a warrant can be obtained and this information obtained after the fact – it is kept by the phone companies already for the most part for months. Also, these programs are costing the tax payer tens if not hundred of billions – yes, that is the cost of Obamacare and the Bush wars put together – we better be solving a lot of fucking crimes I’d hope.

This is also the technology they used to catch Gen. Patraeus – who along with this girlfriend was using an old spy method of just typing draft e-mails then the other would sign in, and read/delete it. The government is ALREADY reading and obtaining THAT information from private e-mail accounts. And you are totally okay with that??? Amazing.

Reply
Roberto July 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

Yes sir. I am objecting to the collection of metadata for any reason except for billing purposes. With that data they can determine where you were, who you called and how long you talked. With that what you talked about can then be grabbed and looked at when desired.

Reply
Frank Pytel July 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

NO

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Having another bunch of thieves stealing info from the Tax Commision just adds insult to injury.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Having another bunch of thieves stealing info from the Tax Commision just adds insult to injury.

Reply
GrandTango July 3, 2013 at 7:08 am

FITS, the democrats and Sheheen need to figure out something else (like some ideas other than their failure)…

Sheheen has A LOT of Democrat-Obama-baggage to account for…Beeching about this ain’t gone cut it….

Reply
adam evans July 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

These current and controversial surveillance behaviors are essentially GOP formulations from the Bush W. years; they are also nothing new. Our national security establishment has massive installations all over the planet that eavesdrop on telephone, wireless and military transmissions. When you fart in Russia, the CIA can smell it. The FBI has been in bed with Ma Bell for decades.Then there are those picture-taking satellites. Sad that Obama doesn’t have a fresh approach to all this.

What Huxley and Orwell, not to mention Terry Gilliam, warned of is also being done to a turn by private enterprise–and there is much more to be feared from TRW, Experian, Checkpoint, Google, Yahoo and your local ISP than by the boys at the NSA–who, even with the FBI in tow, couldn’t prevent the horrible maiming and the deaths during the Boston Marathon bombing.

Reply
adam evans July 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

These current and controversial surveillance behaviors are essentially GOP formulations from the Bush W. years; they are also nothing new. Our national security establishment has massive installations all over the planet that eavesdrop on telephone, wireless and military transmissions. When you fart in Russia, the CIA can smell it. The FBI has been in bed with Ma Bell for decades.Then there are those picture-taking satellites. Sad that Obama doesn’t have a fresh approach to all this.

What Huxley and Orwell, not to mention Terry Gilliam, warned of is also being done to a turn by private enterprise–and there is much more to be feared from TRW, Experian, Checkpoint, Google, Yahoo and your local ISP than by the boys at the NSA–who, even with the FBI in tow, couldn’t prevent the horrible maiming and the deaths during the Boston Marathon bombing.

Reply
Bill July 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

“Those willing to trade their Freedoms for Safety, will lose both.”

USA Founding Fathers: 1776

Reply
Bill July 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

“Those willing to trade their Freedoms for Safety, will lose both.”

USA Founding Fathers: 1776

Reply
snickering July 6, 2013 at 3:21 am

Give me anybodys email and I will be happy to copy them. In case you missed it EVERYBODY IS SPYING ON EVERYBODY ELSE. My question is who has the time to read all our junk email.

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snickering July 6, 2013 at 3:21 am

Give me anybodys email and I will be happy to copy them. In case you missed it EVERYBODY IS SPYING ON EVERYBODY ELSE. My question is who has the time to read all our junk email.

Reply

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