King Banaian at SCSU Scholars has a must-read piece: What is a S.W.I.F.T. Transaction? The MSM who participated in exposing our methods to catch terrorists via wire transactions really had the "public interest" in mind. Oh yeah, Big Brother snooping on everyone's checking account:
A SWIFT consists of a one-page document containing the name and code of the originating bank, the date and time, the address and code of the receiving bank, the name and internal code of the officer initiating the transmission, the names and numbers of the accounts involved in the transfer, a description of the asset being transferred, the MT category of the transmission, and acceptable, standardized phrases as described above.
SWIFT transactions are typically large size because the cost of using the system is substantial. When I lived in Ukraine I only used SWIFT for receiving sums of about $10000, typically quarterly, for payment of expenses. The information on the slip that I would receive had codes for the banks, the accounts being transferred from and to (in both those cases, mine — I could not get dollars without a Ukrainian bank account) and the amount to be transferred.
How many people do you know participate in $10,000 international transactions every other day? All exposing this did is give aid and comfort to the enemy that want to kill us.
The NY Times, LA Times, WaPo and others who exposed the banking transactions have only one "public interest" in mind: winning Pulitzers.