Over One Million Secret FBI Searches Made in Error: Watchdog

More than one million secret searches of Americans conducted by the FBI were made erroneously, a watchdog testified to Congress on April 27.

Around 30 percent of the approximately 3.4 million searches were done in error, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified.

“It’s obviously very concerning that there’s that volume of searches,” Horowitz told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, adding that he was particularly concerned with the high error rate.

The searches in question were conducted by FBI personnel with authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The bill enables U.S. authorities to gather information on U.S. citizens suspected of being involved with possible spies or terrorists.

Some 3.39 million searches were conducted by the FBI in 2021, U.S. intelligence officials have said. That was up from just 1.2 million in 2020.

Sharon Bradford Franklin, chair of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, told members that Congress should pass new legislation imposing greater safeguards into the system to protect Americans. That should include requiring probable cause or court review for each query of an American, she said.

“Congress certainly has the authority to do that. And I think that’s one of the key issues for this committee in the Congress to consider,” Horowitz said. Adding new requirements, though, could increase the FBI’s workload, he said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) indicated support for adding new requirements.

“The solution is simple right? Require probable cause if you’re going to query this database on American citizens,” he said.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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