The new watchlist, called the Transnational Organized Crime (TOC), was created by the Trump administration and authorized through a classified Attorney General order in 2017.
It allows the government to track and monitor Americans without a warrant, even when there is no evidence they’re breaking the law.
While two separate laws (the Privacy Act of 1974 and the E-Government Act of 2002) require the government announce new systems of data collection of Americans, there has been no acknowledgement of the expanded watchlist.
Criteria to be placed on the watchlist includes those suspected of corruption, money laundering, computer hacking, stock market manipulation, public corruption, trafficking of natural resources, health care fraud, insurance fraud, even wildlife trafficking.
Few people know about the TOC watchlist or its scope, even at some of the highest levels of the national security establishment.
Newsweek’s investigation into the TOC watchlist was based on review of hundreds of pages of government documents spanning a decade and interviews with more than a dozen current and former senior intelligence and national security officials.