The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies, according to government sources.
Over the past year, at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that US citizens’ and residents’ banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored. And the breach, some sources said, extended to other intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose officers used the Treasury’s intelligence division as an illegal back door to gain access to American citizens’ financial records. The NSA did not respond to requests for comment.
In response to questions from BuzzFeed News, the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General said it has launched a review of the issue. Rich Delmar, a lawyer in that office, offered no further comment.
A Treasury Department spokesperson said the department’s various branches “operate in a manner consistent with applicable legal authorities.”