The bureau made changes after the newly revealed violations of rules for
querying messages intercepted under an expiring warrantless surveillance
F.B.I. analysts improperly used a warrantless surveillance program to
search for information about hundreds of Americans who came under scrutiny
in connection with two politically charged episodes of civil unrest: the
protests after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd and the Jan. 6,
2021, attack on the Capitol, a newly declassified court ruling shows.
While the F.B.I. has tightened restrictions since then, the disclosure of
the misuses is likely to provide fodder to critics of the program from
both ends of the political spectrum as the Biden administration seeks to
persuade Congress to renew it.
The surveillance program, known as Section 702, empowers the government to
collect, without a warrant and from American companies like Google and
AT&T, the communications of foreigners abroad who are targeted for
intelligence purposes — even when they are talking with or about
Intelligence and law enforcement officials are permitted to search the
database of communications intercepted under Section 702 using the names
or other identifiers of Americans, but only under certain circumstances.
The F.B.I. has repeatedly failed to comply with those limits, leading to
In the newly declassified ruling, the presiding judge of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court, Rudolph Contreras, permitted the program
in April 2022 to operate for another year based on changes the F.B.I. made
to improve compliance.
Judge Contreras wrote that he was encouraged by the efforts to improve the
F.B.I.’s practices and that preliminary indications suggested the measures
were “having the desired effect.” Still, he cautioned that he could impose
“Nonetheless, compliance problems with the F.B.I.’s querying of Section
702 information have proven to be persistent and widespread,” he wrote.
“If they are not substantially mitigated by these recent measures, it may
become necessary to consider other responses, such as substantially
limiting the number of F.B.I. personnel with access” to the raw repository
of intercepted information.
The ruling, which was redacted in places, also described some of the
incidents in 2020 and 2021 that preceded the changes. In those incidents,
officials were deemed to have failed to comply with the standard for
searching the Section 702 repository using Americans’ identifiers: when
there is a specific reason to believe that information about foreign
intelligence or a crime involving that American would be in a repository
of messages collected from foreigners abroad.
In June 2020, it said, an official searched the repository using a batch
of 133 identifiers of people arrested “in connection with civil unrest and
protests between approximately May 30 and June 18, 2020,” to determine
whether there was any counterterrorism-related information in the
repository about them.
That period corresponds to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests
after the killing of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, some of which descended
into riots. The F.B.I. initially defended the queries as compliant with
the rules, but the Justice Department’s national security division
The ruling also details several incidents in which F.B.I. officials ran
queries of people suspected of involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the
Capitol. One line discussed “three batch queries consisting of
approximately 23,132 separate queries” presumed to be Americans; the
passage was redacted, then picked up with “was being used by a group
involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.”
Other incidents included separate query batches of 13 and five Jan. 6
suspects; “two queries for a person under investigation for assaulting a
federal officer in connection with the Capitol breach”; and a partly
redacted discussion of 360 queries in connection with various “domestic
drug and gang investigations, domestic terrorism investigations and the
In a background briefing with reporters before the release of the opinion,
a senior F.B.I. official said that in those cases, the analysts had a
mistaken understanding of the standard. They were required to undergo
additional training, the official said.
We live in a time where intelligent people are being silenced so that
stupid people won't be offended.
Durham Report: The FBI has an integrity problem. It has none.
No collusion - Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, March 2019.
Officially made Nancy Pelosi a two-time impeachment loser.
Thank you for cleaning up the disaster of the 2008-2017 Obama / Biden
fiasco, President Trump.
Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp. Obama sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood
queer liberal democrat donors.
President Trump boosted the economy, reduced illegal invasions, appointed
dozens of judges and three SCOTUS justices.