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House Judiciary Committee Report Unveils Government Surveillance of Americans’ Financial Data

The House Committee on the Judiciary and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released a new report that sheds light on the federal government’s extensive and unwarranted surveillance of Americans’ private financial data.

Report Exposes Misconduct

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The report exposes how financial institutions were coerced into surveilling individuals’ transactions based on political and religious expression, raising concerns about civil liberties.

Scope of Financial Surveillance

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The report, titled Financial Surveillance in the United States: How Federal Law Enforcement Commandeered Financial Institutions to Spy on Americans, highlights the pervasive nature of financial surveillance conducted by federal agencies.

No Evidence

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It reveals that surveillance was not based on evidence of criminal conduct but instead targeted transactions related to constitutionally protected political and religious expression.

Post-January 6th Initiatives

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Following the events of January 6, 2021, federal law enforcement officials engaged in discussions with financial institutions, urging them to share customer information voluntarily.

Disguised Transactions

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The report exposes how banks were asked to filter transactions using terms like “MAGA,” “Trump,” and even “religious texts,” under the guise of identifying potential threats.

Use of Anti-Conservative Organizations’ Lists

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The report raises alarm over the collaboration between federal agencies and anti-conservative organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Recommended Terms Circulated

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FinCEN, in particular, circulated terms recommended by the ADL, labeling symbols of faith and political dissent as hate symbols.

This practice, the report argues, undermines civil liberties and mirrors past instances of biased surveillance.

Circulation of Biased Reports

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Additionally, FinCEN distributed reports from left-wing organizations like the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which labeled conservative groups as “hate groups” without evidence.

The report criticizes FinCEN for endorsing such biased content, potentially “chilling” protected speech and legitimizing unfounded accusations against conservative organizations.

Response From the Treasury Department

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In response to inquiries, a Treasury Department spokesperson reiterated FinCEN’s mission to combat illicit financial activities and safeguard national security.

However, concerns persist about the overreach of surveillance efforts and the potential infringement on civil liberties.

Chairman Jordan’s Statement

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan emphasized the breadth and unjustifiable nature of the surveillance uncovered by the report.

Need for Transparency

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The findings underscore the need for transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties in government surveillance practices.

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