FBI

Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:05pm

What's worse than waterboarding and letting the government wiretap Americans without warrants? It's not a riddle; it is a question we need James Comey to answer, particularly if President Obama nominates him to lead the FBI for the next 10 years.

You…

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:00pm

Waterboarding and other torture tactics may once again take center stage in yet another nomination fight. But this time, the stakes involve a ten-year appointment to head the FBI.

Before President Obama nominates—and certainly before the…

Some Thoughts on DMV Image Databases and the Police

Some Thoughts on DMV Image Databases and the Police

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:28pm

The Washington Post has an excellent, in-depth article today on the growing use of driver’s license photo databases combined with face recognition analytics by police.

There are two ways to think about this. First, it is yet another long…

FBI Documents Suggest Feds Read Emails Without a Warrant

FBI Documents Suggest Feds Read Emails Without a Warrant

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:31am

New documents from the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ offices paint a troubling picture of the government’s email surveillance practices. Not only does the FBI claim it can read emails and other electronic communications without a warrant—even after a federal appeals court ruled that doing so violates the Fourth Amendment—but the documents strongly suggest that different U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the country are applying conflicting standards to access communications content (you can see the documents here).

Last month, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the ACLU received IRS documents indicating that the agency’s criminal investigative arm doesn’t always get a warrant to read Americans’ emails. Today we are releasing these additional documents from other federal law enforcement agencies, reinforcing the urgent need for Congress to protect our privacy by updating the laws that cover electronic communications.

The FBI and Electronic Communications: Where’s the Warrant?

The documents we received from the FBI don’t flat out tell us whether FBI agents always get warrants, but they strongly suggest that they don’t.

In 2010, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in United States v. Warshak that the government must obtain a probable cause warrant before compelling email providers to turn over messages to law enforcement. But that decision only applies in the four states covered by the Sixth Circuit, so we filed our FOIA request to find out whether the FBI

They’re Watching: FBI Business Records Requests Jump 900 Percent Compared to 2009

They’re Watching: FBI Business Records Requests Jump 900 Percent Compared to 2009

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:14pm

Last week served as yet another reminder of the threats posed to Americans' privacy by the post-Patriot Act surveillance state...

Google’s Report on NSLs: What we still don’t know

Google’s Report on NSLs: What we still don’t know

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:44am

Every year, the FBI issues tens of thousands of “national security letters”—or NSLs—demanding that internet service providers, telephone companies, credit card companies, and others hand over information about their customers if it is “relevant”…

NYT Reports on Hate Crimes FBI Refused to Investigate, Uncovered by ACLU Racial Mapping FOIA

NYT Reports on Hate Crimes FBI Refused to Investigate, Uncovered by ACLU Racial Mapping FOIA

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:25pm

On Friday, The New York Times published an excellent report about the FBI's failure to investigate two 2007 hate crimes that was based on FBI documents the ACLU of Northern California, the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian uncovered…

Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:33pm

In December 2011, the ACLU released FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, which showed that San Francisco FBI agents were exploiting community outreach programs for intelligence-gathering purposes. Now it appears FBI…

Shhhh – What The FBI Doesn’t Want You to Know About its Racial Profiling Program

Shhhh – What The FBI Doesn’t Want You to Know About its Racial Profiling Program

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:40pm

The FBI is using a racial and ethnic mapping program to collect intelligence on American communities...

Statistics image