|Posted by JJ The Psychotherapist on April 27, 2021 at 8:00 PM|
According to a news report based on a recently declassified report, the FBI has looked through troves of National Security Agency foreign communications for information on American "racially motivated violent extremists," without court orders.
According to the Daily Beast, the agency conducted the reviews despite warnings from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves warrants for such investigations, that such inquiries were constitutionally troubling several years ago.
Backdoor searches by the FBI were related to criminal investigations, including those into "domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists."
Judge James E. Boasberg of the court found "apparent widespread violations of the querying standard." as he put it.
According to a November 18, 2020 FISA Court opinion declassified Monday and signed by Boasberg, seven FBI field offices were implicated in violations, according to the Daily Beast.
According to the Daily Beast, an FBI analyst once ran a multi-search-term "batch query" on Americans "in connection with predicated criminal investigations relating to domestic terrorism" which yielded 33 foreign-surveillance results.
The Section 702 surveillance expansion in 2008 was largely based on allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept communications from suspected terrorists; however, the US has only designated foreign entities as terrorists, not domestic ones.
According to the Daily Beast, the FISA Court warned the FBI in 2019 that its backdoor searches could be unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, which protects people on U.S. soil from unreasonable government searches and seizures.