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EFF Uncovers Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations

Mark Rumold

EFF has uncovered widespread violations stemming from FBI intelligence investigations from 2001 - 2008. In a report released today,
EFF documents alarming trends in the Bureau's intelligence
investigation practices, suggesting that FBI intelligence investigations
have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more
frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed.

Using documents obtained through EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, the report finds:

  • Evidence of delays of 2.5 years, on average, between the
    occurrence of a violation and its eventual reporting to the Intelligence
    Oversight Board
  • Reports of serious misconduct by FBI agents including lying in
    declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury
    subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant
  • Indications that the FBI may have committed upwards of 40,000 possible intelligence violations in the 9 years since 9/11

EFF's report stems from analysis of nearly 2,500 pages of FBI
documents, consisting of reports of FBI intelligence violations made to
the Intelligence Oversight Board
- an independent, civilian intelligence-monitoring board that reports
to the President on the legality of foreign and domestic intelligence
operations. The documents constitute the most complete picture of
post-9/11 FBI intelligence abuses available to the public. Our earlier
analysis of the documents showed the FBI's arbitrary disclosure practices.

EFF's report underscores the need for greater transparency and oversight in the intelligence community. As part of our ongoing effort
to inform the public and elected officials about abusive intelligence
investigations, we are distributing copies of the report to members of

A pdf copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Related Issues: FOIA Litigation for Accountable GovernmentNational Security LettersPATRIOT ActTransparency

Related Cases: FOIA: Intelligence Agencies' Misconduct Reports

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