The Department of Justice has its own secret drone program—it is called Operation Chokepoint and its drones are banks. According to Jason Oxman in The Hill, the department is attacking “disfavored – but legal – categories of merchants by targeting our nation’s payments systems.”
So now we can go after “disfavored, but legal” businesses by making banks refuse to do business with them.
The “chokepoint” in this operation is the nation’s payments infrastructure, the means by which merchants process nearly $5 trillion in consumer purchases in the U.S. each year. Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly. Rather, Operation Chokepoint is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.
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