How the Arizona Attorney General Created a Secretive, Illegal Surveillance Program to Sweep up Millions of Our Financial Records
Fikayo Walter-Johnson and Nathan Freed Wessler of the ACLU write:
Last year, Sen. Ron Wyden raised alarms about one of the largest government surveillance programs in recent memory. Sen. Wyden revealed that the Arizona attorney general’s office, in collaboration with the Phoenix Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, had engaged in the indiscriminate collection of money transfer records for transactions exceeding $500 sent to or from Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as to or from Mexico. Any time anyone in the U.S. used companies like Western Union or MoneyGram to send or receive money to or from one of these states or Mexico — whether to send a remittance home, or help a relative with an emergency expense, or pay a bill — a record of their transaction was deposited into a database controlled by the Arizona attorney general and shared with other law enforcement agencies.
Sen. Wyden’s revelation left significant questions about the scope and legality of this program unanswered, so the ACLU and the ACLU of Arizona submitted a public records request to the Arizona attorney general’s office to learn more. Today, we are sharing more than 200 documents that shed light on this mass surveillance of Americans’ sensitive financial data.
Read more at ACLU.
h//t, Joe Cadillic
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