The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has denied claims that it snoops on citizens' email traffic without warrants.
The IRS on Thursday sent a statement to V3 denying suggestions from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that it snoops on user email when investigating cases of possible fraud.
"Respecting taxpayer rights and taxpayer privacy are cornerstone principles for the IRS," read the statement.
"Our job is to administer the nation's tax laws, and we do so in a way that follows the law and treats taxpayers with respect."
The denial comes one day after the ACLU issued a scathing report which all-but accused the IRS of failing to obtain warrants from a judge before it views email correspondence.
The ACLU said that it obtained some 280 pages of documents from the IRS and while it could not directly prove warrantless surveillance, it believed that the agency had been snooping on emails.
"Contrary to some suggestions, the IRS does not use emails to target taxpayers," the IRS said in its statement.
At issue was a 2010 court ruling which declared that the IRS should be held to the same legal standards as other federal law enforcement groups while conducting investigations. Among those guidelines is the requirement that agents obtain a warrant from a judge when viewing emails and other personal communication.
The ACLU has called upon the IRS to be clearer in its investigations and expressly notify the public when it views a person's email communications.
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