|USA PATRIOT ACT MONITOR NEWS RELEASES|
SA PATRIOT Act Monitor: FinCEN Refines Info Request Technology
3/24/2003 7:28:10 AM Eastern Standard Time
FinCEN has begun sending requests for information under section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act. As it had announced (February 7 Monitor News Release: FinCEN Information Requests Reinstated), requests are being batched and issued every two weeks. A programming problem had prohibited inclusion of aliases in the index to the March 17 request, but this problem has now been rectified. FinCEN's announcement ("Notice to All Financial Institutions" 3/21/2003 posted under "What's New" at www.fincen.gov) assures financial institutions that "FinCEN is carefully vetting all requests from law enforcement through senior levels in the requesting agencies. In turn, law enforcement is verifying that all requests being forwarded to financial institutions represent only the most significant investigations, primarily terrorist related, and that the corresponding need for the requested information is critical." Some requests from law enforcement sought searches "beyond the general search requirements of 314(a)." Institutions unable to conduct such expanded searches because of electronic limitations are not required to do so "at this time." However, FinCEN advises that the information sought may be subpoenaed later.
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