's Michael Isikoff reports
that the U.S. government's probing of financial records doesn't start at the water's edge. While The New York Times reported
last Friday that government counterterror operations have gathered data on tens of thousands of international transactions, Isikoff says that under the Patriot Act, nearly 30,000 domestic bank records have been gathered as well:
Over the last four years, U.S. law enforcement agencies have gained access to over 28,000 financial records inside the United States under a little known provision of the USA Patriot Act that parallels the secret international bank data program disclosed by news organizations last week, Treasury Department records show. . . .
[T]he international program is only one part of a much broader, if little publicized, Treasury Department effort to probe suspect financial recordsâincluding thousands of bank accounts, wire transfers and other transactions involving individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations inside the United States. . . . .
Although it has received little attention, the Patriot Act program has produced a wealth of previously unavailable financial data that has been shared with U.S. law enforcement agenciesâwithout any notice to the account holders who are being investigated.