The Department of Treasury has allegedly engaged in financial spying both under Barack Obama and continuing under Trump.
The problem with this story about financial spying is that it was reported by Buzzfeed. We can’t be sure it is true until we receive reliable confirmation. I suspect the only reason Buzzfeed was interested in the story was because it included the Trump Administration.
Nevertheless, it is pretty easy to believe our government would do this. Buzzfeed is not credible but neither are the Feds when they issue their denials.
The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies, according to government sources.
Over the past year, at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that US citizens’ and residents’ banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored. And the breach, some sources said, extended to other intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose officers used the Treasury’s intelligence division as an illegal back door to gain access to American citizens’ financial records. The NSA said that any allegations that it “is operating outside of its authorities and knowingly violating U.S. persons’ privacy and civil liberties is categorically false.”
In response to detailed questions, the Treasury Department at first issued a one-sentence reply stating that its various branches “operate in a manner consistent with applicable legal authorities.” Several hours after this story published, the department issued a more forceful denial: “The BuzzFeed story is flat out wrong. An unsourced suggestion that an office within Treasury is engaged in illegal spying on Americans is unfounded and completely off-base.” It added that “OIA and FinCEN share important information and operate within the bounds of statute.”
Still, the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General said it has launched a review of the issue. Rich Delmar, a lawyer in that office, offered no further comment.
But a senior Treasury official, who is not authorized to speak on the matter so requested anonymity, did not mince words: “This is domestic spying.”
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