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

[snip]

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
emptywheel @nickmanes1 A claim that Ellis is "moderate." I kid you not. @wizardkitten
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @wizardkitten I heard certain Dems pushing Ellis, so maybe that's what they've got. @nickmanes1
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bmaz @JoshMBlackman @MikeSacksEsq @dsc250 @steve_vladeck @imillhiser Yeah, I am not so sure SCOTUS is as eager to take this as you are.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Finally figured it out: people can't come off the watch list because they are so pissed at not being allowed off they might do terra.
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bmaz @imillhiser @JoshMBlackman @steve_vladeck @dsc250 @MikeSacksEsq One other thought: I can see Edwards or another judge sua sponte requesting.
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emptywheel @wizardkitten God, sounds like it's even stupidly made. Are they just wasting donors money at this point? @nickmanes1
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emptywheel Actually, I think they need a name with your gait. So "Wheeler walker" might fly.
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emptywheel RT @MikeScarcella: 'DOJ tries to hide the Blue Book behind a veil of privilege, trumpeting a laundry list of doom-and-gloom outcomes.' http…
19mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Horse people know it's easy to get wrong lead on some gaits. RT @emptywheel: Apparently your gait or DNA can be nominated as a terrorist.
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently your gait or DNA can be nominated as a terrorist.
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emptywheel @wizardkitten I'm just hoping they roll out Mike Rogers to beat up Amash before this is out, bc that would be popcorn-worthy. @nickmanes1
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emptywheel @wizardkitten Maybe GOPers think that by having a Real Live Politician say it, it'll sound like a real policy issue. @nickmanes1
26mreplyretweetfavorite
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