ACLU to Jim Comey: Welcome. Now Fix This.

Jim Comey has officially been in charge of the FBI for less than two weeks.

Today, in honor of Constitution Day, the ACLU just released a report showing how the FBI’s expanded mandate since 9/11 has led to Constitutional abuses.

Most of the details of the report have been reported here in depth. But the Big Data section includes some details I haven’t covered. It explains:

FBI collects Suspicious Activities Reports that duplicate — but lower the standard for — an existing database

Another major problem is that eGuardian effectively competes with another federal government SAR. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 established the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) to serve as the conduit for terrorism-related information sharing between state and local law enforcement and the federal government.114 A March 2013 Government Accountability Office report found that though the two programs share information between them, eGuardian uses a lower evidentiary threshold for inclusion of SARs, which creates risks and privacy problems.

The Government Accountability Office found that “many fusion centers have decided not to automatically share all of their ISE-SARs with eGuardian” because eGuardian doesn’t meet ISE standards.115 One fusion center said it would never provide SARs to eGuardian because of the fusion center’s privacy policy.116 The Government Accountability Office also found that the two systems “have overlapping goals and offer duplicative services.”117

FBI will soon have the equivalent of 20 pieces of intelligence on every American — and they share this broadly

An FBI budget request for fiscal year 2008 said the FBI had amassed databases containing 1.5 billion records, and two members of Congress described documents predicting the FBI would have 6 billion records by 2012, which they said would represent “20 separate ‘records’ for each man, woman and child in the United States.”119


According to a 2012 Systems of Records Notice covering all FBI data warehouses, the information in these systems can be shared broadly, even with foreign entities and private companies, and for a multitude of law enforcement and non-law enforcement purposes.133

There’s far more in the report, chronicling the slow creep of abusive FBI techniques since 9/11.

Sadly, given that this has all been treated as legal, I doubt that Comey will do anything about it, even with ACLU’s demonstration that the dragnet has led FBI to miss real crimes.

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7 Responses to ACLU to Jim Comey: Welcome. Now Fix This.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Brasel_Sam But it would not be necessary even for 9/11 in that 2,977 counts of capital murder and conspiracy would have sufficed just fine
bmaz @Brasel_Sam Well, yes that certainly fits the statutes. Dylan Roof and Colorado most certainly do not.
emptywheel @MasaccioEW Cmon, it's a close game. You guys will get beat fair and square. ;p
emptywheel RT @BigMeanInternet: How much of what "Millennial" means is about adapting to declining median living standards? ht…
emptywheel @dceiver Stanford bc fuck with standings
emptywheel BS call for the Lelanders.
emptywheel @dbrower Neither. My inner sentiment. Our dog is named after Christian McCaffrey's father.
emptywheel Stanford unsuccessfully trying to rally a bunch of geeks (I'm a geek!) to cheer like non-geeks. Didn't work.
bmaz RT @PriestOfStEs: @BklynMiddleton @libbyannvan the hard part is these types of killers can have more than one motive. Incoherent pathology …
emptywheel @stephanie_a517 I do try not to RT things that aren't worth the advertisement. Now I want to do mushrooms and make quinoa. @openculture
emptywheel @ErrataRob Surely revenge for playing the crazy uncle on Thursday.
September 2013
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