RealNews

F.B.I.'s Reach Into Records Is Set to Grow

A little-noticed measure approved by both the House and Senate would significantly expand the F.B.I.’s power to demand financial records, without a judge’s approval, from car dealers, travel agents, pawnbrokers and many other businesses, officials said on Tuesday. Traditional financial institutions like banks and credit unions are frequently subject to administrative subpoenas from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to produce financial records in terrorism and espionage investigations. Such subpoenas, which are known as national security letters, do not require the bureau to seek a judge’s approval before issuing them. The measure now awaiting final approval in Congress would significantly broaden the law to include securities dealers, currency exchanges, car dealers, travel agencies, post offices, casinos, pawnbrokers and any other institution doing cash transactions with “a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters.” Full Story

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