Are your money transfer records private? Warrantless bulk surveillance of money transfer records is happening.
In 2022, it was revealed that law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have been secretly operating an indiscriminate and bulk surveillance program that swept up millions of financial records about Americans. So quiet that this program has only been briefly addressed in a single published court ruling despite several significant arguments that it is unconstitutional.
This began in 2010 when the Arizona Attorney General’s office maintained records of virtually every money transfer of more than $500 that took place in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. That database has grown to more than 150 million money transfers. Officers from hundreds of agencies across the country have the ability to directly query the database without any subpoena or court order.
Defense attorneys should be vigilant for the possible use of this surveillance data to build prosecutions of their clients, and be ready to make legal arguments in support of a motion to suppress. Surveillance of money transfer records are an invasion of privacy.
(May 2023, Champion Magazine)