The move would ensure that counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering efforts conducted by the nation’s spy agencies have access to the Treasury’s database, which is designed to identify unusual financial transactions and strange account structures that could be indicative of criminal activity.
Reuters noted that financial institutions file more than 15 million reports of unusual transactions every year to keep from being accused of under-reporting, under rules set forward in the Patriot Act. The vast majority of these reports are triggered by innocent activity like large cash deposits or money transfers.
Because the proposal is not yet complete, it’s not clear how the spy agencies would deal with the volumes of financial data that would come pouring in from the accounts of innocent Americans, whose Fourth Amendment right supposedly protects them from unreasonable searches.
That detail is sure to alarm civil liberties advocates, who’ve been warning for years that the Obama administration has an unusual penchant for secrecy, especially when it comes to national security matters.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.