A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has revealed that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has been operating a secretive, illegal surveillance program that has swept up the financial records of millions of Americans.
The program, which is known as the Transaction Record Analysis Center (TRAC), collects financial data from money transfer companies, including records of transactions, customer names and addresses, and even Social Security numbers. The data is then stored in a massive database that is accessible to law enforcement agencies across the country.
The ACLU’s report found that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has issued at least 140 illegal subpoenas to money transfer companies in order to collect this data. The subpoenas were issued without a warrant and without probable cause, and they violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The TRAC database is now home to over 145 million financial records, and it is growing every day. The database is accessible to over 12,000 law enforcement officers from hundreds of agencies across the country.
The ACLU has called for the immediate shut down of the TRAC program, and it has also filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
The revelation of the TRAC program has sparked outrage from civil liberties groups and privacy advocates. The ACLU’s report states that the program is a “mass surveillance program that is built on repeated violations of the law.”
The report also notes that the TRAC program disproportionately impacts immigrants and people of color, who are more likely to use money transfer companies.
The TRAC program is just the latest example of the growing use of mass surveillance by the government. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile revelations about government surveillance programs, including the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of phone records and the FBI’s use of Stingray devices to track the location of cellphones.
These revelations have raised concerns about the government’s ability to spy on its citizens without their knowledge or consent. The TRAC program is just one more example of this growing trend.
The ACLU is calling on the government to end all mass surveillance programs and to protect the privacy of American citizens. The organization is also urging Congress to pass legislation that would ban the government from collecting financial data without a warrant and probable cause.
The TRAC program is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and it must be shut down immediately. The government must respect the privacy of its citizens and end its intrusive surveillance programs.