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Tue Oct 8, 2019, 10:23 PM

FBI's search for information on Americans was in violation of the law, judge says

Source: Washington Post

FBI’s search for information on Americans was in violation of the law, judge says

By Ellen Nakashima
Oct. 8, 2019 at 9:16 p.m. EDT

The FBI on several occasions in recent years queried the government’s foreign intelligence holdings seeking information on Americans — including its own personnel — doing so in violation of surveillance law and constitutional privacy protections, according to a newly disclosed court ruling.

Though senior FBI officials flagged the issues, and the Justice Department reported the missteps, the violations of what is known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act highlight ever-present concerns with the FBI’s ability to search such databases without individual warrants for information on Americans.

At issue is a data-collection program whose roots lie in 9/11 and that focuses on foreign targets overseas. The data is gathered from U.S. Internet service providers and tech firms, however, and includes a significant but unknown number of Americans’ communications.

Court opinions disclosed Tuesday by U.S. intelligence officials also show that, despite concerns raised by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the FBI resisted for nearly a year to change its procedures for tracking its queries for the data of Americans.

In August, the FBI acquiesced and agreed to distinguish between queries made using Americans’ phone numbers and email addresses and those that do not, among other changes it has made to address the court’s concerns.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/fbis-search-for-information-on-americans-was-in-violation-of-the-law-judge-says/2019/10/08/c8570720-e9fc-11e9-9c6d-436a0df4f31d_story.html

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