On September 27 2010 the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN published a notice of proposed rulemaking setting forth new reporting requirements related to cross-border electronic transfer of funds. Shortly after the publication of the proposed rule EFF filed a FOIA request seeking documentation that would justify the agency’s law enforcement need for the regulations. We also sought information demonstrating that FinCEN had taken adequate data-security precautions for handling such a massive amount of sensitive information.
In December EFF submitted a comment to FinCEN opposing the proposed rules. EFF argued that the new rules were unlikely to be effective that the agency had not sufficiently assessed the threat to citizens' privacy posed by the new rules and that the government had not demonstrated that sufficient technical safeguards were in place to securely receive transmit and store the vast quantities of sensitive information required to be disclosed by the proposed rules.