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U.S. Surveillance Program TRAC Allows Unregulated Access to Money Transfers

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, a new U.S. surveillance program called TRAC grants law enforcement access to over 150 million money transfers without court oversight.

Flag of United States
Flag of United States

The program, created by the Arizona state Attorney General's office in 2014, tracks money transfers between the U.S. and over 20 countries.

TRAC Program Overview

The Transaction Record Analysis Center (TRAC) was created to confront the "trafficking of drugs and people from Mexico" through a settlement with Western Union. However, it has since expanded to allow "600 law-enforcement entities" unlimited oversight of money transfers within the United States and internationally. TRAC documents the full names of both the sender and recipient and the total amount of the transfer.

United States Senator Ron Wyden
United States Senator Ron Wyden

Concerns Over TRAC

The program allows agencies to "serve themselves an all-you-can-eat-buffet of Americans' financial data while bypassing the normal protections for American Privacy," according to Senator Ron Wyden. Additionally, any authorized law-enforcement agency can query the data without a warrant, and the program's data can be used to scan for categories such as "Middle Eastern/ Arabic names."


TRAC bypasses the normal due process and oversight expected from government investigations. To obtain bank records, law enforcement must show relevant documents and acquire a subpoena or warrant. This U.S. Surveillance program undermines the privacy rights of American citizens.