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House inquiry opened as to whether IRS is using artificial intelligence to invade Americans’ financial privacy

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An inquiry has been opened by the House Judiciary Committee as to whether the IRS is using artificial intelligence to invade Americans’ financial privacy. The inquiry comes after an agency employee was captured in an undercover tape suggesting there was a widespread surveillance operation underway that might not be constitutional, reports Just the News.

The inquiry was opened by Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., who sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding documents, and answers as to how the agency is currently employing artificial intelligence to comb through bank records to look for possible tax cheats.

The House Judiciary Committee has been investigating why the FBI was obtaining Americans’ bank records, including those who partook in the January 6 Capitol riots, without using search warrants or subpoenas.

Jordan’s and Hageman’s letter said lawmakers have evidence and reason to believe that the IRS and Department of Justice (DOJ) are actively monitoring millions of Americans’ private transactions, bank accounts, and related financial information—without any legal process—using the AI-powered system.

“This kind of pervasive financial surveillance, carried out in coordination with federal law enforcement, into Americans’ private financial records raises serious doubts about the IRS’s—and the federal government’s—respect for Americans’ fundamental civil liberties,” the letter said.

“So one of the things that I have learned since I’ve been in Congress is that there are quite a few people in government who do not recognize our constitutional protections,” Hageman told Just the News. “They’ve kind of forgotten or at least ignored our Bill of Rights.”

Just the News also reported that the Treasury Department has since acknowledged it has “implemented an enhanced process using AI to mitigate check fraud in near real-time by strengthening and expediting processes to recover potentially fraudulent payments from financial institutions’ since late 2022.”

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Economy

NYC bill trying to repeal ‘sanctuary city’ laws put in place by liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill this week to undo “sanctuary city” laws approved from 2014-2018 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Council members Robert Holden (D-Queens) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told The New York Post they’ll introduce the bill Thursday.

Among the laws to be reversed include the prohibiting of the NYPD, and Correction and Probation departments from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the cases involve suspected terrorists or serious public safety risks. It would also reverse rules prohibiting city agencies from partnering with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” said Holden, a moderate Dem. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” said Borelli. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

In February, Mayor Eric Adams called for the rules to be loosened so migrants “suspected” of “serious” crimes could also be turned over to ICE — as they once were under sanctuary city policies implemented as early as 1989 under ex-mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.

Among public reasons for the push is the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.  If it wasn’t for the sanctuary city policies, Riley is among other deaths that could have been prevented if the policies were not in place, Holden and other critics have said.

The 22-year-old was found dead Feb. 22 on the University of Georgia’s campus, six months after her alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested in Queens and charged with endangering a child.

The Post explains of the case:

The NYPD had no choice but to cut the Venezuelan-born Ibarra loose — instead of turning him over to federal immigration officials — because he didn’t have any major crime convictions.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shot down the mayor’s idea just one day later, saying she and the rest of the Council’s progressive Democratic majority wouldn’t be considering any rule changes. The bill introduced this week is also likely to face objections from the Council’s left-wing Democratic majority.

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