Shot at Privacy: Feds Probe Banks for Gun, Bible Buys & ‘Trump’ Chatter.

The House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), has revealed that the Treasury Department asked banks to search through Americans’ transactions for signs of “extremism” after January 6, 2021. These signs include purchases of “small arms” or transactions from popular gun retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shop, or Cabela’s. In a letter to the former Director of the Treasury Department’s office, Jordan expressed his concerns about the government’s pervasive financial surveillance, which raises doubts about the respect for civil liberties.

According to the obtained documents, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) distributed materials to banks outlining the “Typologies” of “various persons of interest” and provided financial institutions with suggested search terms and Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) to identify suspicious transactions. These materials included a document recommending the use of terms like “TRUMP” and “MAGA” to search through Zelle payment messages. FinCEN also warned banks about indicators of extremism, such as transportation charges to areas with no apparent purpose and the purchase of books or subscriptions with extremist views.

Jordan criticized FinCEN for urging financial institutions to comb through their customers’ private transactions based on their political and religious expressions. He highlighted that these transactions, related to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights, were characterized as potential threats by FinCEN. In an interview with Fox News, Jordan called it “financial surveillance” and expressed concerns about the lack of warrants or legal processes involved.

Written by Staff Reports

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