OUTRAGE: Major banks worked with federal government to SPY on Americans and track their financial transactions
03/13/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

The federal government colluded with some of America’s top banks to spy on citizens and monitor their financial transactions in the wake of the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a violation of their fundamental constitutional rights.

This is according to a report that was recently issued by the House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The report said that the federal government carried out “broad” surveillance of millions of Americans’ private financial transactions without following any type of legal process.

The report noted that this “financial surveillance was not predicated on any specific evidence of particularized criminal conduct and, even worse, it keyed on terms and specific transactions that concerned core political and religious expression protected by the Constitution.”

It provided details about how officials with the government asked a number of major banks to search people's financial transactions using key terms such as “MAGA” and “Trump” in hopes of identifying transfers that might indicate people were present at the Capitol on that day. It also told banks that they could identify transactions related to sporting goods stores and places that are known to sell firearms, such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's.

Some of the financial institutions that were identified by the report as engaging in this behavior were JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Barclays, Charles Schwab, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Charles Schwab, U.S. Bank and HSBC. The report claims that the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the FBI carried out back channel conversations with institutions in which they requested they provide people's private financial information without obtaining a subpoena.

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People with certain political views were targeted

In addition, the report detailed a web portal known as the domestic security alliance council that was used to share nonpublic intelligence documents between law enforcement and financial institutions. The portal, which was run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, was used by the government to share reports with financial institutions about individuals that they believe fit the profile of what they called “domestic violent extremists” who could have theoretically been “emboldened” in the wake of the events on the capital. They made no attempt to hide the fact that they were focusing only on individuals who held certain political views.

According to the portal, “those Americans who expressed opposition to firearm regulations, open borders, COVID-19 lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and the ‘deep state’ may be potential domestic terrorists.”

The editor of The Sociable, Tim Hinchliffe, noted that this means those who question what the government says and does could find themselves being scrutinized even further and losing some of their freedoms if this type of behavior continues.

He told The Defender: “Today, they’re going after Americans who oppose open borders, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, etc., but who will they go after tomorrow? Will they go after people who express opposition to U.S. funding in Ukraine? What about opposition to sending troops on the ground? Who will become the next domestic terrorist based on which side they support in the Middle East?”

Others, like former Texas Assistant Attorney General W. Scott McCollough, point out that the targets of these inquiries could change and that everyone should be worried, regardless of their political views.

Some have even likened the effort to China’s social credit system, which sees people unable to access their money and subjected to other punishments if they question government narratives.

Last year, retired FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst George Hill testified that Bank of America voluntarily supplied the agency with a list of the names of all of their customers who used debit or credit cards in the Washington, D.C. area from January 5 to 7, 2021.

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