There are very few investigative reporters working in news media right now. I don’t claim to be one of them, but I truly appreciate the work they are doing, and when possible, try to share it. One internet site that I have recently become aware of is Circa. They have done a lot of investigating into illegal government surveillance of Americans.
The article reports:
The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.
In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”
Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.
I have a friend who once worked for the National Security Agency (NSA). I year or so ago, he assured me that the agency was not spying on Americans. Recently, he told me that he had been wrong. The group he worked with was dealing with foreign issues and played by the rules. Since that time he has learned that not everyone played by the rules. He was heartbroken when he realized that. I say that to remind everyone that we have good people working in our investigative and security agencies. The challenge for the Trump Administration will be to get the people who have abused their positions out. FBI Director Comey was a good place to start. Criminal charges are also in order where laws have been broken.
The article further reports:
For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.
The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.
The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.
“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.
All of this is part of the ‘deep state’ that is being used to undermine the Trump Administration. All members of the deep state need to receive their pink slips as soon as possible.