Feds Accused of Alarming Breaches of Privacy

Feds Accused of Alarming Breaches of Privacy

(WatchDogReport.org) – According to a Fox News January 17 report, the House Judiciary Committee revealed that federal investigators asked several US banks to provide details of their customers to determine who was part of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots. In a letter obtained by the conservative network, the committee and subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government have been investigating law enforcement’s receipt of US citizens’ data without legal process. They added that law enforcement has been engaging with the private sector in these breaches of privacy.

In the letter, the committee chair and Ohio Republican Jim Jordan said that the committee determined that the Treasury Department’s FinCEN distributed materials to banks and other financial institutions to target “persons of interest.” Jordan added that the FinCEN provided many US banks with some “search terms” to identify transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement agencies.

Jordan also pointed out that FinCEN warned banks and financial institutions of numerous “extremism indicators,” which included transportation charges for some travel areas in the country without any “apparent purpose.” He noted that some of the leading indicators were the purchase of books and subscriptions to media outlets that contained “extremist views.”

The Ohio Republican and his committee requested FinCEN former director Noah Bishoff to appear before Congress for a transcribed interview on the scandal. Jordan said he could have extra information for the committee’s consideration. He asked that Bishoff contact his committee to formally schedule the interview by January 31 and sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting a meeting with the bureau’s senior private sector partner.

In another part of the letter, Jordan explained that even when the vast majority of transactions made on these banks had no criminal connection, FinCEN seemed to have adopted a “dangerous characterization” of many Americans as “threat actors.” He pointed out that the way FinCEN has participated in breaches of privacy sets a dangerous precedent where federal investigators and agencies could violate fundamental liberties.

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