Fed officials are addressing concerns that FedNow, the new instant payment infrastructure developed by the Federal Reserve, will allow the government to surveil and freeze Americans’ bank accounts.
In a new fact checking report from the Associated Press, officials from the Federal Reserve say that the new service “does not give the agency additional surveillance and enforcement authorities.”
In an email to AP, Fed officials said,
“FedNow is an instant payments service that the Federal Reserve will offer to banks and credit unions to transfer funds for their customers… The Fed and FedNow cannot access individuals’ bank accounts or control how they choose to spend their money.”
AP also conferred with Aaron Klein, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C. think tank Brookings Institution, who said that concerns about bank accounts being seized through FedNow were a “nonsense campaign” with “no basis in reality.”
Klein reportedly says that FedNow is revamp of the Fed’s “outdated” Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) system.
“They are upgrading their current system that runs on 1950s tech to one that’s modern… It’s like changing from Blockbuster to Netflix.”
Concerns of a new incoming financial system that keeps tabs on Americans’ every move have increased in recent years, especially with talks of a new central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr has been issuing warnings on CBDCs and their potential threat to the economic freedom of US citizens.
Kennedy said in a recent interview,
“The ability to save and spend without political interference is a prerequisite for the exercise of meaningful dissent, and I will defend it accordingly. This is not a right- or left-wing issue. It is about protecting democracy from powerful established interests. The digitization of currency has given government unprecedented powers to surveil and control economic life.
That is why I oppose CBDCs, which will vastly magnify the government’s power to suffocate dissent by cutting off access to funds with a keystroke.
That’s also why I support Bitcoin, which allows people to conduct transactions free from government interference. Bitcoin has been a lifesaver for people’s movements around the world, especially in Burma.”
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