Court ruling: FBI violated rights, illegally spied in 2017 and 2018

Ace of Spades quoting Wall Street JournalThe intelligence community disclosed Tuesday that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court last year found that the FBI's pursuit of data about Americans ensnared in a warrantless internet-surveillance program intended to target foreign suspects may have violated the law authorizing the program, as well as the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

The court concluded that the FBI had been improperly searching a database of raw intelligence for information on Americans--raising concerns about oversight of the program, which as a spy program operates in near total secrecy.

The court ruling identifies tens of thousands of improper searches of raw intelligence databases by the bureau in 2017 and 2018 that it deemed improper in part because they involved data related to tens of thousands of emails or telephone numbers--in one case, suggesting that the FBI was using the intelligence information to vet its personnel and cooperating sources. Federal law requires that the database only be searched by the FBI as part of seeking evidence of a crime or for foreign intelligence information.

I think the violations of the law are obvious and indeed inherent -- the law being the Fourth Amendment. But the judges are actually talking about the authorizing law Congress passed, which is pretty bad, but at least attempts to provide some protections... which the FBI, CIA, and NSA evidently have been ignoring for at least 7 years (and probably a lot longer than that, but less politically).

Remember, this is after an earlier court ruling just a few years ago that criticized these exact practices (and in doing so, may have exposed SpyGate by forcing the perpetrators to change their methodology). And they are still bold enough to be doing this.

This entry was published Wed Apr 15 02:59:10 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2020-04-15 03:11:59.0. [Tweet]

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