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Monday, March 4, 2024

Court says FBI misused intelligence database in 278,000 searches | World News


A U.S. court ruled that the FBI improperly searched U.S. foreign intelligence databases for information 278,000 times over several years, including on Americans suspected of crimes, according to a ruling released Friday.

FBI agent (AFP)

FISC decisions are issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The court said the searches took place during investigations of crimes in the United States, including the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol and protests following the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

Intelligence databases store digital and other information about individuals. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the FBI to search the communications of foreigners abroad without a warrant, including their conversations with Americans.

The court ruling found the FBI violated rules regarding use of the database, which was created and searched under Section 702 of the FISA Act.

Specifically, the court found that searches as part of an investigation into crimes between 2016 and 2020 violated the rules because “there was no reasonable basis for expecting them to return foreign intelligence or evidence of crimes,” although the FBI argued it was “very likely Possibly,” Decided said.

The disclosures come as President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to gain support in Congress to preserve surveillance powers under Section 702, which expires later this year.

ODNI said the FBI tightened procedures in mid-2021 and 2022. “Thus, these compliance incidents do not reflect the FBI’s inquiry practices following the full deployment of remediation measures,” the office said.

An FBI spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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