Lapas attēli
[merged small][ocr errors]

kurisme, 2.6. 20510 Sraz Sesetor Tunser:

Desk you for you letter of façæt 24. txt follows is my Deaction to the tra questions you ask.

1. I find sotaisg is s.394 that would prevent a bani Racer from recortis a becik-kitisę serene. It seems to me mat Section 4 o! 3.3614 would bare to be contorted beyond its natural istent to prohibit a bek official tror calling the ezisteace of illegal cooext to the atteation of the appropriate authorities. Tecnically, of course, the actual documents involved and the precise informatim thereia could not be released by the bank to a law enforceneat or regulatory agency until one of the procedures prescribed i. Section 4 vas carried out of course, that does not pose any difficulty iaassuch as there would be proosble cause or enough of a basis for the issuance of a sudpoena. It also must be kept in mind that s.3814 does not supersede the extensive network of statutes and regulations that govern the banklag industry. 1 # sure that these would permit, indeed, probably require, both the reporting of illegal conduct and the investigation thereof by one or sore regulatory bodies.

2. Increasingly the Social Security number is being used as an identification and access key to files maintained on Individual Americans. In our computer-oriented society these files are being put into machine readable for and, as time progresses, data banks will be linked together enabling information stored under an individual's Social Security number to be electronically exchanged. My concern with the use of the Social Security number as an identifying number for each bank customer is that eventually all of the records now required to be maintained under the Department of Treasury Regulations will be stored in electronic form and organized by the Social Security number. Given the complete absence of any legal safequard limiting access to these racords, I fear that various agencies of government and the private sector may be able to "aip into" the banks' computerized records and extract information about people simply by knowing thair Social Security number. Admittedly, this is not an immediate problem; on the other hand, it is not a figment of a

Buck Rogers imagination, as anyone who has studied computerized information systems will tell you. Finally, the Treasury Department's requirement that the Social Security number be obtained from bank customers seems inappropriate at a time when the Department of Health, Education and welfare is studying the proper use of that number and has appointed a Public Advisory Committee to make recommendations concerning the limitations and safequards on the use of the number, I hope these responses to your questions are of assistance to you. If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to call on me.

Sincerely yours,


Arthur R. Miller
Professor of Law



Senator William Proxmi re
attn: Mr. Ken McLean

(Professor Miller subsequently wrote a letter to Senator Proxmire commenting on correspondence received from the Justice Department. It is printed at page 133 of this publication.)

Senator PROXMIRE. The subcommittee will come to order.

Our witness now is the Reverend Christopher G. Raible, of the Unitarian Universalist Association.



Reverend RAIBLE. With me is William B. Duffy. Jr., attorney for our association.

Senator PROX MIRE. Fine.

Pr. Raible, as you know, there are other witnesses, and the hour is getting along, so I would appreciate it if you would try to limit your statement as much as possible and put the entire statement in the record.

Reverend RAIBLE. Thank you, Senator Proxmire and other members of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, for affording me an opportunity to testify in support of Senate bills 3828 and 3814, bills which have been designated the Citizens Privacy Protection Act of 1972.

I am Christopher Raible, assistant to the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. My purpose in testifying is to recount to you an experience which is directly relevant to these legislative proposals. Last fall, our church suffered a disturbing violation of our constitutional rights when we were subjected to investigation of our bank records by the Internal Security Division of the Department of Justice.

I can speak of this incident from personal knowledge, since I was one of the church officials who assisted the president of our association, Dr. Robert West, in our handling of the situation.

Dr. West, by the way, would be here to testify personally, but he is in Europe attending an international church convention.

I have with me, and would like to file, an affidavit he filed last January in one of our court actions.

Senator PROXMIRE. Without objection, it will be accepted for the record.

(The information follows:)


Boston, MASSACHUSETTS. I, Robert Nelson West, a Unitarian Universalist Minister and President of ['nitarian Universalist Association and its chief executive officer, depose and say:

1. The Unitarian Universalist Association is the denomination of Unitarian and Universalist congregations in the United States. Its membership consists of 958 congregations in the United States plus 67 congregations in Canada and other countries. The Association was formed in 1961 by a consolidation of two corporations, The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America, founded in 1825 and 1833 respectively.

2. Functions of the Association include the recruitment, education and placement of ministers ; religious education of children; adult education; publications; social responsibility ; churchmanship and missions; Beacon Press; fund raising: youth programs; and overseas programs.

3. At the core of the Unitarian and Universalist religion are freedom of conscience, individual freedom of belief, and the application of ones religion in daily actions of public and private nature. Our churches are non-creedal. Our denomination is voluntary association of congregations.

4. Beacon Press is the publishing operation of our Association. Beacon Press publishes books in such areas as religious education, religious history, religious thought, worship, contemporary religion, Unitarianism and Universalism, and hymnals—as well as world affairs, philosophy, ethics, child guidance, education, anthropology, poetry and the fine arts. Beacon Press is a non-profit tax exempt publishing operation which is not incorporated and is not a separate entity. In carrying out the practice of the Unitarian Universalist religion, which emphasizes that participation in matters of social concern and working to improve the condition of human beings is as much a part of one's religion as is theology, Beacon Press has published books of a controversial nature which other publishers are unwilling to publish.

5. The operating budget of the Association for the current fiscal year is $1,730,000.

6. Approximately two-thirds of the operating budget is received from the current contributions of congregations and individual donors. Nearly all the remaining one-third is derived from income on invested funds received from past donations. Only a summary form of the budget is publicly distributed.

7. The funds raised by the Association and used in financing all its activities are raised by a department of the Association working under my supervision and with my personal assistance.

8. Unless a donor indicates otherwise, it is and has been our uniform practice not to disclose the identity of individual donors, and many of our donors rely upon our continuing that practice. Some of our donors specify that their identity as donors be kept confidential.

9. Disclosure to a federal grand jury and to government attorneys and investigators working with them of the identity of those donors and the amounts which they have contributed would result in the breach of the anonymity which not only protects them but promotes confidence in prospective donors. Such disclosures would have an adverse effect upon the fund raising on which our Association depends for its existence and programs.

10. Those individual, congregational and institutional donors who for business, professional or personal reasons find it inappropriate to be publicly identified would in many if not all instances withdraw their support if their identity should be revealed by any over broad investigation and this could cause me to recommend to the Association's Board of Trustees the curtailment or termination of some of the programs and activities of the Association which depend upon the gifts of such individual and institutional donors.

11. It is well recognized in fund raising that a donor's desire for privacy often relates not to a particular gift, but to the disclosure of his financial ability to make substantial gifts and his consequent exposure to numerous other solicitations.

12. Also, I believe that a broad investigation which involves the FBI, grand jury, and Justice Department probing into the Association's affairs would adversely affect our fund raising because of the possible connotation of wrongdoing and criminality often associated with those agencies in people's minds.

13. Such an investigation also has the effect of intimidating present and prospective members of our denomination and interferes with their rights to freedom of association.

14. Our existence and health are dependent on our being able to keep present members and add new ones. The broad investigation contemplated here would have an adverse effect upon the number of and rate of new members joining our denomination.

15. I object to any investigation under which the government would gain access to records which show in minute detail the receipts and expenditures of the Association for a period extending for 412 months. Such information at present is available only to authorized officials of the Association and their agents.

16. The broad investigation referred to and described in the Complaint to which this affidavit is attached violates the religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and constitutes an unwarranted intrusion by the government into the affairs of a religious denomination.

17. Throughout its history the Association has played an active role in controversial causes. Such causes in modern time include early and continuing opposition to the war in Viet Nam, the repeal of anti-abortion statutes and support of practical steps to achieve racial justice. These efforts and many like them are part of the expression and practice of the Unitarian Universalist religion.

18. Such broad access and investigation by the FBI, grand jury and Justice De partment regarding details of the finances and programs of the Association with the resulting connotation of possible wrongdoing and criminality would tend to inhibit and impair the full practice and expression of the religion of some members and decisionmakers in our denomination.

19. I believe that such broad access and investigation would subject our denomination to governmental intimidation and harrassment, repress legitimate dissent, and infringe upon the religious freedom and the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In witness whereof, I have set my hand this eighth day of January, 1972.


Reverend RAIBLE. On Thursday, November 4, 1971, the treasurer of our association received a call from the vice president and cashier of the Boston bank where we deposit virtually all our funds, notifying us that the FBI had a number of its agents at the bank examining our financial records. The vice president said they had been served with a subpena calling for the production of copies of UUA and Beacon Press checks. Beacon Press, as you may know, is a department of our association that publishes books on a nonprofit basis.

Our reaction to this news was one of shock and dismay. We knew that the Constitution insures the separation of church and state, and the guarantee of freedom of religion. We thought that the Government had no right to be surreptitiously studying financial records of our religious denomination.

It was late in the afternoon when we were first notified of this FBI investigation and it was impossible that day to take any formal steps to halt the investigation. When we called the bank vice president again, we were told that the FBI had come to the bank to look at all eight UUA accounts; that the agents had first appeared at the bank early in the preceding week asking to look at the UUA records but had been refused; that the agents returned later that same week with a subpena for the records; and that they had been examining the records for at least 2 days.

We also learned that, after being served with the subpena, a subordinate bank official had called the office of the U.S. attorney and complained of the heavy burden of producing the quantity of records called for. He was told that the FBI would furnish the manpower to go through the bank's microfilms. Upon learning all this, we insisted that the bank withhold records from the FBI until we had an opportunity to halt the investigation by legal means.

Later that evening, we again called the bank vice president at his home. We then learned that the subpena called for all checks drawn on and all deposits made to all our accounts during the 412-month period from June 1, 1971 to October 15, 1971. We also learned that the subpena served upon the bank was a grand jury subpena that did not call for the production of our bank records until the following Wednesday, November 10, 1971.

We, understandably, expressed our surprise and dismay that the FBI had already examined our accounts since the subpena did not call for the production of our records for several more days, and then only to the grand jury. The bank vice president then agreed to refuse to permit further inspection of our records until we had an opportunity to determine more fully what the FBI had seen and to decide what steps we could take to bring a permanent halt to the investigaton.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »