Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Andy Biggs (Arizona) ask for answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray. The questions emerged from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance discovery about the widespread FISA abuse by the FBI. Fox News reported this information on Tuesday.
The outlet shared that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence unsealed one November opinion from FISC. That happened last week.
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According to Jordan and Biggs, the opinion from the FISC reveals that the FBI “has been seriously and systematically abusing its warrantless electronic surveillance authority.” And they shared it in a letter on Tuesday.
In the letter, both Reps. say that it “only raises more questions about the FBI’s respect for the constitutional and statutory parameters of FISA.”
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 4, 2021
The opinion explains the FBI’s widespread violations of privacy rules while engaging in surveillance under FISA’s Section 702.
According to Section 702, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence are able to authorize surveillance of non-US persons jointly, and they don’t need a warrant. Moreover, precisely this surveillance represents a subject to certain conditions.
Also, the report reads that Section 702 requires adopted ‘’targeting procedures’’, so they can prevent any ‘’intentional acquisition’’ of U.S. domestic communication in the time of surveillance.
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Furthermore, Section 720 rules the minimization and querying procedures. Before reviewing its query results for crime investigations that don’t link to national security, the authorities have to get a FISC order.
Fox News said that the declassified opinion discovered that a Justice Department audit exposed the FBI’s violation of the querying standard.
The FISC also exposed that the “FBI’s failure to properly apply its querying standard when searching section 702-acquired information was more pervasive than was previously believed,”
In around 40 queries, the opinion said the FBI wanted to get the information for investigations that weren’t linked to foreign surveillance. Among the data were “healthcare fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists, as well as investigations relating to public corruption and bribery.”-Fox News report reads.
According to Judge James E. Boasberg, FISC chief judge, the FBI’s widespread violations were disturbing.
In the letter that Jordan and Biggs sent to Wray on Tuesday, the news of the violations was described as “particularly disturbing in light of prior FBI misconduct.”
“We write to request information about the FBI’s illegal spying activities, given the seriousness of this matter for civil liberties.” the congressmen wrote.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 4, 2021
Then, the congressmen asked the FBI to give a detailed account of each instance where the agency accessed details under FISA for aims that aren’t related to national security.
Lastly, Jordan and Biggs also asked what they have done to “prevent the FBI from using its section 702 authorities to surveil, investigate, or otherwise examine U.S. citizens.”