Posted by on May 26, 2017 3:36 pm
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Categories: DOJ Economy Espionage FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FISA court Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Government In re Sealed Case No. 02-001 James Comey Law mass surveillance Obama Administration Privacy of telecommunications Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Signals intelligence SPY United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Earlier this week we highlighted sections of a recently unclassified FISA Court order which found that the Obama administration routinely conducted “widespread” illegal searches of American citizens, an issue which the court described as a “serious fourth amendment issue” (see “FISA Court Finds “Serious Fourth Amendment Issue” In Obama’s “Widespread” Illegal Searches Of American Citizens“). 

Today, as highlighted by Circa, we find the that FBI, led by James Comey, was one of the biggest offenders when it came to improper usage of foreign-sourced intelligence on American citizens.  Per the FISA court order (which can be found here), the DOJ conducted a review of the FBI’s handling of so-called “Section 702-acquired information” beginning on March 9, 2016 and what that review found was fairly disturbing. 

Among other things, the DOJ found that the FBI routinely shared “raw FISA information” on American citizens with “private contractors”…to paraphrase, the FBI took illegally sourced intelligence on American citizens (no warrants required) and shared it with random private citizens working at non-government firms.

“On March 9, 2016, DOJ oversight personnel conducting a minimization review at the FBI’s [redacted] learned that the FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, includined but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to [redacted]...largely staffed by private contractors.”

But it wasn’t just that one time…

“For these reasons, the government concluded that the FBI had given the information to the private entity [redcated], not to an assisting federal agency.”

All of which resulted in the following punchline from the FISA Court:

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported.”

But sure, our intelligence agencies should be blindly trusted to spy on American citizens without the hassle of warrants…they would never abuse those powers, right?  Plus, it’s for our own good…

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin

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