• Mon. Oct 23rd, 2023

Controversy Unveiled: U.S. Accuses FBI of Illegally Spying on American Citizens and Politicians

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ByEsme Greene

Aug 7, 2023
Controversy: U.S. Accuses FBI of Illegal Spying
Esme Greene
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The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court‘s April 2022 opinion, released yesterday, has brought to light the FBI’s improper use of the vast Section 702 database. This database contains message records and other information utilized by the FBI and NSA.

According to the court’s findings, the FBI made over 287,000 inappropriate requests for access to the Section 702 database between 2020 and 2021. The targets of these searches included protesters arrested during the Jan. 6 demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd, as well as approximately 19,000 U.S. investors involved in an undisclosed campaign within the U.S. Congress.

Section 702 grants the U.S. government the authority to gather communications of targets located overseas. However, American citizens’ communications may also be included in the database if they interact with individuals outside the U.S.

The FBI is only permitted to search the database when agents have reasonable grounds to believe that the search will yield information relevant to foreign intelligence targets or evidence of crimes. However, an NSA audit conducted in late 2022 revealed numerous instances of the FBI misusing the database to search U.S. citizens, including Congressman Darin Lahoud, a member of the U.S. Republican Party.

Following the audit and the court’s decision becoming public, the FBI acknowledged the abuse and attributed it to a “misunderstanding.” The agency has promised to address the issue. Nevertheless, Section 702 is set to expire at the end of 2023 without an extension from Congress, which could effectively halt the FBI’s misuse of the database.

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Esme Greene

Esme brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our website, specializing in all aspects of DarkWeb security. With a deep understanding of the intricate workings of the DarkWeb and its associated cybersecurity risks, Esme curates insightful and informative content for our readers.