Rep. Charles Boustany is calling on the IRS to release all internal communications about its email search policy after following disclosures that the agency believes it has the authority to access the email accounts, text messages, and other electronic communications of private citizens without a warrant.
Boustany, a Louisiana Republican who chairs the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, wrote a letter to the IRS on Thursday in which he also asked how many searches the agency has conducted since 2010, and how it uses social media to get information about taxpayers, The Hill reported.
“It is my responsibility to ensure the Internal Revenue Service respects the Constitutional rights of all Americans while enforcing the nation’s laws,” Boustany said in his letter to the IRS.
“Recent media reports have disturbingly claimed that it is the IRS’s view that it does not need a search warrant to review certain electronic communications by private citizens. Other recent reports state that IRS officials have used social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to mine additional information about taxpayers,” he added
Boustany requested that the agency explain itself by April 26, providing all internal communications about its internet search policies.
In a statement released Thursday, the IRS said that “respecting taxpayer rights and taxpayer privacy are cornerstone principles of the IRS.” The IRS added, “Contrary to some suggestions, the IRS does not use emails to target taxpayers. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”
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