April 21, 2022 – FISA Court releases report claiming the FBI repeatedly misused surveillance tool pertaining to January 6 cases; FISC corrective measures haven’t worked

In Email/Dossier/Govt Corruption Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

FISA Court rubber stamps FBI warrant applications to spy on Americans. (Credit: River City Reader)

The FBI repeatedly misused a surveillance tool in searching for foreign intelligence to use in cases pertaining to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and 2020 racial justice protests, according to an April 2022 court order publicly released Friday.

The order, which was released by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is significantly redacted but reveals thousands of violations of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the federal government to collect communications between certain targeted foreign individuals outside the U.S.

The court has legal oversight of the U.S. government’s espionage activities.

FBI officials said the violations came before corrective measures the agency took starting in summer 2021 and continuing into last year.

(…) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the report Friday to promote transparency, but members of Congress originally received the order last year.

The FBI’s program maintains a database of intelligence that U.S. agencies can search, but the FBI must have a foreign intelligence purpose or be looking for evidence of a crime to conduct a search.

The order shows the FBI turned to the database to look into someone it believed was present at the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, an inquiry that did not have any “analytical, investigative or evidentiary” purpose.

An analyst conducted 13 searches of people who were suspected of participating in the riot to see whether they had any foreign ties, but the Justice Department later determined that it did not meet the standard required for a search. (Read more: The Hill, 5/19/2023)  (Archive)

This problem existed eight years ago and any ‘corrective measure’ the court took to safeguard our First and Fourth Amendment rights, hasn’t worked.

(…)  The FISA court found that the government had been engaging in a long pattern of significant abuses that were revealed to the court by then-National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court,” the FISC ruling read.

The court noted the government’s failure to previously notify the court of these issues, referring to the government’s actions as exhibiting an institutional “lack of candor” while emphasizing that “this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

April 26, 2017 – An unsealed FISC Report reveals systematic abuses in accessing 702 data