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FBI improperly used surveillance tools to conduct searches on officials

The Federal Bureau of Investigation "continues to break the rules put in place to protect Americans. This must end."


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Recently declassified and released court records revealed that the FBI misused a controversial surveillance tool to gather information on several government officials.

According to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation used a tool that allows warrantless spying on foreigners abroad to conduct searches on U.S. officials.

“In June 2022, an analyst conducted four queries of Section 702 information using the last names of a U.S. Senator and a state senator, without further limitation,” the court’s opinion states.

It also notes that in October of that same year, an operations specialist conducted searches using the Social Security number of a state judge who “had complained to the FBI about alleged civil rights violations perpetrated by a municipal police chief.”

Nearly 300,000 improper uses of the tool

According to a presentation by the FISC earlier this year, the FBI has already made thousands of misuses of the Section 702 database. The report indicates that since that section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was created, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has made more than 278,000 inappropriate uses of the tool.

“This program is routinely used against Americans and others who aren’t suspected of any wrongdoing,” expressed the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) National Security Project via its Twitter account, highlighting that Congress should intervene to prevent further illegal searches of public officials.

“The breadth of this warrantless surveillance program continues to grow, and the FBI continues to break the rules put in place to protect Americans. This must end,” ACLU insisted.