Public distrust of our federal agencies is at an all-time high. And it’s on its way to getting worse.
Because what the FBI just leaked about the CIA and NSA is simply terrifying.
In its updated handbook, the first to be made public since the Obama administration, the FBI explained how it employs the CIA and National Security Agency to look into the private lives of Americans without a warrant.
The manual, which was updated in 2021, verifies a leak from ten years prior demonstrating the bureau’s cooperation with the CIA and NSA for FBI investigations that may involve surveillance without a warrant against individuals who are not suspected of committing any crimes.
At the FBI, such inquiries are referred to as “assessments.”
The information likely embolden those who have long accused the FBI of abusing its monitoring authority for national security.
The next Republican-led Congress is likely to closely examine the FBI’s collaboration with U.S. intelligence agencies that are focused on foreign threats.
The House Judiciary Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are investigating how intelligence services target Americans.
A new panel will look at how the federal government has turned against American individuals.
The 906-page rule book was written during the Trump administration and revised under President Biden, and it contains new information regarding the FBI’s collaboration with state and local governments, other federal agencies, and other stakeholders.
After turning down demands to make the new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide public, the FBI made it available online.
Section 20.2 of the 2021 rule book has the terms CIA and NSA free of redaction, but the rest of the section’s content is concealed from public view.
Section 20.2 of the FBI’s rulebook, which was leaked in 2011 and was obtained by The Intercept without redactions, deals with name trace requests, which are formal requests made by the FBI to other agencies to check their records for people of interest.
According to the 2011 rule book that was stolen, information discovered by CIA and NSA searches of their records may be used in assessments and based investigations.
Also according to the 2021 rule book, FBI assessments are inquiries into individuals and groups that do not call for accusations of crime and simply require a “authorized purpose” and a distinct objective.
The investigations’ goals include gathering foreign intelligence, defending against risks to national security, and preventing federal offenses.
The FBI was contacted with comment-related inquiries after the NSA declined to do so and did so as well.
According to the CIA, it abides by the law and respects the privacy of Americans.
“[The] CIA recognizes and takes very seriously our obligation to respect the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons in the conduct of our vital national security mission, and conducts our activities in compliance with U.S. law, Executive Order 12333, and our Attorney General guidelines,” the CIA said in a statement to the media.
The agency has collaborated on assessments with the CIA and NSA for more than ten years, as evidenced by its decision to include details of those collaborations in its 2021 rule book.
Stay tuned to DC Daily Journal.