Big Brother: Major U.S. Banks Caught Spying on MAGA Supporters

Written by Jacob Thomas.

It’s something straight out of a George Orwell story, but according to a recent Daily Mail report, it’s all too real. At least 13 major U.S. banks are under scrutiny for allegedly collaborating with federal agencies to spy on the transactions of hundreds of pro-gun and religious Trump supporters in the wake of the January 6 Capitol incident. This supposed surveillance, reportedly carried out without proper warrants, is raising red flags about significant privacy breaches and potential government overreach. The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, is currently probing these startling claims which suggest a worrying alliance between America’s financial heavyweights and the federal government.

Allegedly, the Biden administration collaborated with these banks to scour through transactions flagged as “extremism indicators,” which included everything from buying religious texts and MAGA merchandise to purchasing mundane items like bus tickets to ambiguous destinations. This sweeping surveillance by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is said to target potential extremists through their financial activities, treating the Capitol Riot as an incident of domestic terrorism, a categorization that continues to be highly debated.

Financial Giants on the Hot Seat

The banks caught up in this wide-reaching investigation are not obscure entities but some of the most entrenched names in the financial sector, including Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo, as well as Citibank and Truist. The scrutiny has expanded to encompass other major financial institutions such as Charles Schwab, HSBC, MUFG, PayPal, Santander, Standard Charter, and Western Union. These companies are now compelled to turn over documents and communications linked to their interactions with FinCEN, shedding light on a potential massive breach of trust between these banks and their unsuspecting customers, who likely had no idea their routine transactions were being monitored and potentially reported to the FBI.

This operation reportedly set “Beria thresholds”—a chilling nod to Stalin’s notorious secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria—where specific criteria would trigger the banks to report a customer’s information directly to the FBI. For instance, Bank of America’s involvement led to the scrutiny of 211 individuals, none of whom were eventually linked to any criminal activity. This raises serious questions about the criteria for such surveillance and the implications it has for personal privacy and civil liberties.

Our Take

The allegations that 13 prominent U.S. banks might have aided the federal government in spying on citizens based on their political beliefs and personal spending habits are deeply concerning. This scenario emphasizes the growing fears about the politicization of federal entities and the potential misuse of personal data against private citizens. Actions like these, if verified, not only erode trust in both our financial and governmental institutions but also pose a grave threat to the core freedoms that underpin American democracy.

As this investigation continues to unfold, it’s critical that its findings are made clear to the public and that stringent measures are implemented to prevent any similar occurrences in the future. It’s essential for the health of our republic that individuals can freely express their political views without the dread of undue surveillance by their government or the misuse of their private information. Looking ahead, this case should prompt a serious national dialogue about the delicate balance between ensuring national security and safeguarding individual rights, making sure one is not sacrificed for the other.

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