New Documents from Surveillance Court Reveal FBI Violated the Law When It Searched Americans’ Communications

This week the Director of National Intelligence declassified several opinions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Court of Review concerning Section 702 of the FISA. The courts determined that the FBI violated the law when it searched for information about Americans in communications intercepted for foreign intelligence purposes. The documents also reveal that FBI repeatedly exceeded the scope of its authority to search for Americans’ information. The Court of Review ruled in July of this year that the FBI must record every search of an American’s data and the basis for that search. As a result of these rulings, the FBI has changed its surveillance. In January 2018 EPIC obtained a Justice Department report detailing concerns with the FBI’s “backdoor searches.” EPIC has long advocated for reform of U.S. surveillance laws, which do not adequately protect the fundamental rights of Americans or of individuals abroad.

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