Tag Archives: Illegal surveillance

Report Shows FBI Spied On 3.3 Million Americans Without A Warrant, GOP Demands Answers, by Joseph Lord

It looks like roughly one in a hundred Americans have been spied on by the FBI without a warrant or probable cause. From Joseph Lord at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

Top House Republicans are demanding answers from the FBI after court-ordered information came to light showing that the federal agency had collected the information of over 3 million Americans without a warrant.

Republican Representative from Ohio Jim Jordan speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)

In a May 25 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio) asked Wray to explain why his agency had wiretapped and gathered personal information on over 3.3 million Americans without a warrant (pdf).

Limited authority to gather foreign intelligence information is granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Specifically, section 702 of the bill says: “the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) may jointly authorize the targeting of (i) non-U.S. persons (ii) who are reasonably believed to be outside of the United States (iii) to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

However, this power can grant an expanding circle of possible searches to the FBI and other intel agencies, who can use the same power against American citizens who had any interaction with targeted foreigners.

Historically, insight into how FISA has been used against American citizens has been limited and hidden behind classified reports.

However, a November 2020 decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)—which serves as a watchdog for U.S. intelligence agencies—required that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report “the number of U.S. person queries run by the FBI against Section 702-acquired information.”

In accordance with these new requirements, ODNI’s recently-released Annual Statistical Transparency Report included data on how often the FBI gathered information on American citizens using section 702 in 2021.

Continue reading→

We Need Answers About the Unconstitutional Mass Surveillance of the CIA, by Matthew Guariglia and Andrew Crocker

Don’t think that anything has hindered the CIA’s collection of data about you and everybody else. From Matthew Guariglia and Andrew Crocker at commondreams.org:

Regardless of the CIA’s legal justification or technical means of collection and storage, Congress must act fast to ensure the Fourth Amendment’s vitality in the modern age.

The Central Intelligence Agency has been collecting American’s private data without any oversight or even the minimal legal safeguards that apply to the NSA and FBI, an unconstitutional affront to our civil liberties.

According to a declassified report released yesterday by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), the CIA’s surveillance program is reminiscent of the mass surveillance programs conducted by the NSA, though the details released thus far paint a disturbing picture of potential wide-scale violations of people’s privacy. To start, the CIA program has apparently been conducted outside the statutory reforms and oversight of the intelligence community instituted after revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013. The newly declassified CIA data collection program is carried out in conjunction with Executive Order 12333 and is therefore subject to even less oversight than the woefully under-supervised NSA surveillance programs subject to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The whos, whats, whys, and hows of this semi-disclosed CIA program are still unknown, and the public deserves the right to know exactly what damage has been done. Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich are already pressing for the release of even more information. In a partially-redacted letter sent to the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA Director on April 13,  2021, the senators have called for the public release of the full report about the CIA’s surveillance, which remains classified. The senators’ letter also  demands answers about how the agency collects the data, what data is being collected, and the rules governing its storage and retention.

Continue reading→