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May 26, 2017

Declassified Memos Show FBI Illegally Shared Spy Data With Third Parties Who Had No Legal Right to Have It

Isn't this unexpected.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau's public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was "lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked."

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of "disregard" for rules, inadequate training and "deficient" oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

...

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed....

The court isn't the only oversight body to disclose recent concerns that the FBI's voluntary system for policing its behavior and self-disclosing mistakes hasn't been working.

...

The FBI's very first compliance report in 2009 declared it had not found any instances in which agents accessed NSA intercepts supposedly gathered overseas about an American who in fact was on U.S. soil.

But the IG said it reviewed the same data and easily found evidence that the FBI accessed NSA data gathered on a person who likely was in the United States, making it illegal to review without a warrant....

Lawmakers in both parties and both chambers of Congress are writing reforms behind closed door, leaving the intelligence community anxious it might lose some of the spy powers it considers essential to fighting terrorism, cyber attacks and unlawful foreign influence.

See also this piece by Andy McCarthy -- usually on the pro-law-enforcement side of controversies -- explaining why these are serious breaches.


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posted by Ace at 12:47 PM

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