The CIA is getting international money transfers data under the laws the National Security Council uses to collect Americans' phone records, officials said.
The spy agency's financial records program, which past and current officials said was authorized under the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, does not include solely domestic transfers or interbank transactions, The New York Times reported Friday.
One official said the surveillance court imposed rules that withhold the identities of any Americans from the data the CIA sees, require a link to a terrorist organization before a search may be conducted and mandate data be discarded after a certain time period.
Former U.S. government officials familiar with the program said it is helpful in uncovering terrorist relationships and financial patterns, The Wall Street Journal reported. If a CIA analyst discovers possible suspicious terrorist activity in the United States while searching the data, the analyst provides that information to the FBI, a former official said.
Several officials also said there are more than one bulk collection program.