Posts Tagged banking

Operation Choke Point Under Scrutiny

From Electronic Frontier Foundation:

EFF recently received dozens of pages of documents in response to a FOIA request we submitted about Operation Choke Point, a Department of Justice project to pressure banks and financial institutions into cutting off service to certain businesses. Unfortunately, the response from the Department of Justice leaves many questions unanswered.

EFF has been tracking instances of financial censorship for years to identify how online speech is indirectly silenced or intimidated by shuttering bank accounts, donation platforms, and other financial institutions.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about the Justice Department’s controversial and secretive campaign against financial institutions in 2013, and one Justice Department official quoted in the article stated:

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FDIC Backtracking on Targeting of “Risky” Gun Businesses

From The Daily Signal:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has acknowledged its role in Operation Choke Point and is taking dramatic steps to reverse its policies in targeting legal and legitimate industries that are disfavored by the Obama administration.

From The Washington Times:

In an effort to put an end to Operation Choke Point — a financial task force that was created by the Obama administration to “choke out” businesses it finds objectionable like gun shops — the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued a letter Wednesday saying all banks should examine their customer relationships on a case-by-case basis and not by industry operational risk.

“The FDIC is issuing this statement to encourage institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers,” the FDIC said in a letter to its financial institutions released Wednesday.

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Regulations Proposed to Control Bitcoin

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The State of New York has proposed BitLicense, a sprawling regulatory framework that would mandate licenses for a wide range of companies that interact with digital currencies. The proposal creates expensive and vague new obligations for startups and infringes on the privacy rights of both Bitcoin businesses and casual users. And we have only four days before public comments on the proposal close. Speak out now.

This isn’t just about Bitcoin. Any future digital currency protocol would be affected, even if it’s not being used for financial services. As the proposal is currently drafted, innovators who want to use these protocols for smart contracts, to track digital assets, or for any other purpose would still be affected.

 

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Justice Department Using FDIC To Hurt Gun Retailers

From The Washington Times:

Since 2011, regulators have increased scrutiny on banks’ customers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2011 urged banks to better manage the risks of their merchant customers who employ payment processors, such as PayPal, for credit card transactions. The FDIC listed gun retailers as “high risk” along with porn stores and drug paraphernalia shops.

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