FBI demands ‘agility’ to continue warrantless and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens

by WorldTribune Staff, April 3, 2024

Congress has until April 19 to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables the feds to spy on foreign nationals located outside the U.S. with the compelled aid of electronic communication service providers.

This was the law exploited by the FBI to spy on members of the Trump campaign in 2016 without probable cause and to carry out warrantless searches on thousands of Americans.

As the deadline approaches, the FBI has launched a propaganda campaign featuring Director Christopher Wray making the case for reauthorization.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee noted: “FBI just got called out in a community note on X. Congress — take note. FISA 702 has been used for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of times. Yet FBI demands 702 be reauthorized by April 19 WITHOUT a warrant requirement for searches of U.S. citizens.”

“Many in Congress will want to reauthorize FISA 702 — which is set to expire April 19th — either without modification or (more likely) with fake reforms that fail to impose a warrant requirement for searches directed at Americans,” Lee predicted.

While Section 702 targets must be foreign nationals believed to be outside the U.S., the FBI readily admits that “such targets may send an email or have a phone call with a U.S. person.”

Blaze News previously reported that during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in June 2023, the FBI admitted there had been at least 278,000 “unintentional” back-door search queries of the 702 database for the private communications of Americans between 2020 and 2021 alone.

Among those Americans caught up in the warrantless searches were Jan. 6 protesters, 19,000 donors to a congressional campaign, and even a few BLM protesters.

In March 11 testimony before Congress, Wray stated, “The FISA Court itself most recently found 98% compliance and commented on the reforms working. The most recent Justice Department report found the reforms working, 99% compliance. And so, I think legislation that ensures those reforms stay in place but also preserves the agility and the utility of the tools, what we need to be able to protect the American people.”

The FBI’s campaign in favor of reauthorizing Section 702 was highlighted by a March 25 social media post containing an excerpt from Wray’s testimony. It was not well-received.

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde wrote: “The FBI was correctly called out in a community note for lying about its unconstitutional, warrantless surveillance of Americans. Congress must eliminate FISA abuse and protect the American people’s privacy.”

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Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene added: “The FBI has been corrected in community notes and rightfully so.”

FBI whistlelower Steve Friend reiterated that the FBI “violated constitutional rights and abused FISA Section 702 over 278,000 times in a single year.”

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