Bipartisan angst grows against IRS surveillance

A bipartisan coalition of House members is demanding the IRS brief them on its warrantless surveillance tech.

In a Thursday letter addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, leaders of the House Oversight Committee, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., demanded to know details behind the IRS program to spy on taxpayers using cell-site simulators, and requested that a briefing on the program be scheduled within a week.

In addition to the agency's policies, guidance and memos on the program, the members requested "all documents referring or relating to any allegation of misuse" and "agreements entered into by the IRS with state and local law enforcement agencies."

"You recently confirmed before the Senate Finance Committee that the IRS uses such devices in furtherance of its criminal investigations," the members wrote. "As it was with [the departments of Justice and Homeland Security] before those agencies issued department-wide policies governing use of the devices, the committee is concerned that other federal agencies may be governed by a patchwork of policies."

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