Congressman Exposes Gov’t Using ‘Human Trafficking’ Act to Warrantlessly Spy on Innocent Citizens

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

Rep. Amash called the bill “a disguised effort to expand the Patriot Act” that would give the government more power to illegally spy on innocent Americans.

By Rachel Blevins
September 25, 2018

The United States House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a bill that looks like legislation that focuses on combating human trafficking on the surface—but some liberty-minded lawmakers are warning that the bill is using language from the PATRIOT Act to increase unconstitutional government spying.

The Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018, H.R. 6729, states that its purpose is “to allow nonprofit organizations to register with the Secretary of the Treasury and share information on activities that may involve human trafficking or money laundering with financial institutions and regulatory authorities, under a safe harbor that offers protections from liability.”

However, while the goal of the bill claims to be to help institutions and authorities “better identify and report potential human trafficking or money laundering activities,” Michigan Rep. Justin Amash took to Twitter to argue that the legislation actually has a much more sinister objective.

Amash said he believes H.R. 6729 is “a disguised effort to expand the Patriot Act. GOP leaders put ‘Fight Human Trafficking’ in the title to conceal the bill’s true purpose: to give the government more power to unconstitutionally spy on law-abiding Americans without a warrant.”

In the past, Rep. Amash has been a vocal opponent of legislation that threatens the Fourth Amendment by letting the FBI spy on innocent Americans without a warrant and letting government agencies raid private property without a warrant.

While legislation that claims to fight human trafficking seems like an effort that would easily gain approval and attention, critics warn that there is much more beyond the surface.

This bill was introduced by Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner—the same sponsor behind the controversial Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2018 (FOSTA) that became law earlier this year. As a report from Reason noted:

The deceptively named the ‘Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act’ of 2018—is the latest in a long line of assaults on civil liberties disguised as attacks on the biggest crime panic of the decade, sex trafficking. Wagner alone brought us the SAVE Act in 2015 and FOSTA in 2018, both of which take aim at online anonymity, web publishing, social media, sex workers, and free speech under the guise of saving children from ‘modern slavery.’

The Rest…HERE

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