The FBI “accidentally” misused an electronic database over 278,000 times because of a misunderstanding. As in, “Oh were we not supposed to do that?”
According to newly unsealed court documents, the FBI used a 9/11 database to track people involved with the January 6 protests, the George Floyd protests, political donors, and more. The FBI says that they have fixed this problem and “blamed [it] on a misunderstanding between its employees and Justice Department lawyers about how to properly use a vast database named for the legal statute that created it, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).”
A judge in a FISA court said that he was encouraged that the FBI had taken measures to stop this but that the illegal access had become “persistent and widespread.” If the FBI doesn’t fix this, he said, “it may become necessary to consider other responses, such as substantially limiting the number of FBI personnel with access to unminimized Section 702 information.”
Last week was a big accountability week for the FBI after the Durham Report showed that the agency had acted politically in the Russiagate/Hillary Clinton scandal. Then whistleblowers accused the agency of acting politically in pursuit of the January 6 cases. And now this. The agency has continued to say that it accepts responsibility and will make appropriate changes.