EFF Finds Evidence Of Over 40,000 Intelligence Violations By The FBI Since 9/11

from the yes,-40,000 dept

We've pointed out, multiple times, how the FBI has been caught abusing the Patriot Act with things like using National Security Letters to get information it had no legal right to obtain. Even worse, when President Obama issued a blanket absolution for the FBI breaking the law it seemed like no one batted an eye. In fact, you may not have even heard about it, because the press just didn't think that breaking the law to spy on Americans is really that big of a deal.

So, once again, it seems unlikely that this story will get much attention, but the EFF has, via a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, determined that the FBI may have committed over 40,000 intelligence violations since 9/11, 2001.

Yes: 40,000.

On top of that, the research uncovered evidence of the FBI "lying in declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant." And yet, why aren't we hearing much about this? Why aren't there stories everywhere covering this massive abuse by the government? Instead, we just get Congress rubber stamping a renewal of the Patriot Act, without even taking into consideration what's happening.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Laws are stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Explained...

    Perhaps nobody batted an eye as nobody was in the least surprised. Not even a little bit. It's almost a given the US government is lying to and spying on its own citizens.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Why would the gov, who controls (or works very closely with) the major news outlets, let them prove to their people that they fail utterly as a government? Seriously?

     

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  4.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Correction

    In fact, you may not have even heard about it, because the press just didn't think that breaking the law to spy on Americans is really that big of a deal if Obama is the one doing it.

    Fixed that for you. When a Republican screws you, it's because he's a fascist. When a Democrat screws you, it's because he has your best interests at heart.

    Oh, the partisan blinders of the general public. How I love thee . . .

     

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  5.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    Because that's news. Which is, y'know, what the press is for.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    Even the anti murder one?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Correction

    When a Republican screws you, it's because he's a fascist. When a Democrat screws you, it's because he has your best interests at heart. Yeah ... I'm pretty sure that both sides are calling each other fascists (or communists, or nazis, or whatever).

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Any other place in the world, yes. In the US, news is what the govt allowed agencies to talk about. Every morning, they get memos about what they can't talk about for the day. Is that really the "free press" that "reports the news" as most like to think?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Especially Bart.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    I'm sick of the US government making stupidly obvious moves and then acting all innocent. Enough pussyfooting around! Just declare martial law already! Sheesh!

     

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  11.  
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    Ben, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Explained...

    Was it Tiberius who said that "the people make the government it deserves" or was it Augustus? Anyway, whoever said it was right, sheep will always be led to the slaughter.

    If I live to see this massively corrupt construct come tumbling down, I will cheer!

     

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  12.  
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    Qyiet (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    Why aren't we hearing much about this?

    We arn't hearing about it because at just over 10 a day they are isolated incidents, not a systematic abuse of the system and its lack of oversight at all.

     

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  13.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Correction

    Well, the left certainly has "fascist", but I think the buzzword on the right is now "socialist". It's all academic, of course, because both sides are both of those.

    Regardless, I was really talking about the media. The awful violations under the Bush regime were vigorously discussed all over the airwaves (even if just provided Fox with an opportunity to extol the virtues of them), but with Obama . . . silence.

    Still sending people off to torture them in a foreign country? Still protecting the people who signed off on warrant-less wiretapping? Still denying FOIA requests at an astounding rate? Check. Check. Check. Not a peep from MSNBC.

    Guess doing terrible things is okay as long as it's your personal favorite running the show.

     

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  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    I am surprised on some days that the EFF can find their own asses, let alone 40,000 anythings.

     

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  15.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    " Every morning, they get memos about what they can't talk about for the day. Is that really the "free press" that "reports the news" as most like to think?"

    [citation needed]

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    At this point I'm rooting for the terrorists. At least I KNOW when they are terrorizing me.

     

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  17.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    I was wondering this morning why Darrell Issa wanted to know about FOIAs.

     

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  18.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Correction

    I've made this argument before and I know it's not the most popular, but dang... It's not JUST the president, it's the bureacracy and the environment. He is the focal point, just as any president will be but you have to think, what keeps the system running? The Prez is only there for 4 years, but I'm sure the Generals (who spend on military "toys"), aides (who know how people think by being shadows), among the other parts that keep the machine running are just as likely to cause problems than Obama fixing them.

     

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  19.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Government (even in the U.S.) always seeks to further their own gains.

    And that means they work to make sure they have the most control.

     

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  20.  
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    Jesse, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    If you vote against the Patriot Act, you aren't a Patriot.

     

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  21.  
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    M. Hilton, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 8:09pm

    The reason we're not hearing that much about it is that the government thinks we're not intelligent enough to understand that they're protecting us-from what, I don't know-but I do know this: the Patriot Act was the single-most terrible law to ever be enacted in this country, next to the Sedition Act.
    Under this law, you ARE guilty before proven innocent, and don't you dare protest otherwise.
    We really don't want to know this stuff. It might make us mad and demand some answers that the government isn't going to be able to give us.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    Re:

    Thanks for your useful contribution, TAM.

     

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  23.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 1:44am

    Re:

    OR you're a Fascist Liberal Jew. And Yes, I've had that one before, and ?I don't even remotely look or have modern Jewish ancestry.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:52am

    I love how the wording is slightly different in the EFF release, trying to keep themselves from being pinned down and liable:

    "Indications that the FBI may have committed upwards of 40,000 possible intelligence violations in the 9 years since 9/11"

    Indications, may, possible.

    In other words, maybe not.

    Congrats to Mike Masnick for being a sucker and falling for the most ass covering press release of the year so far.

     

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  25.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Correction

    You're correct, in a sense. The president does not have full control of the government (and, might I add, thank God), so it would be unfair to blame him for all the troubles we have today, especially when he wasn't even the one who started them.

    All of the things I mentioned, however, he does control, completely. He is the commander-in-chief of the military; what he says, goes. He controls the government attorneys that fight in court to keep the extent of the government's warrant-less wiretapping secret. He controls the rules under which the departments under him handle FOIA requests.

    He has the ability to stop any of these things right this very minute, if he wanted to. But he doesn't, and the media (apart from Jon Stewart, who appears to be rapidly becoming the only principled media figure out there) doesn't seem to care, because the previous guy who they disliked is now gone.

     

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  26.  
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    Annonymous, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    To M. Hilton...."AMEN!"
    It is unbelievable to me what the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security is being allowed to do to innocent American citizens thanks to their immaculately funded and massively built Fusion Centers which appear to have no real internal controls and absolutely NO OVERSIGHT.

    And the media is scared to death to report on govmt intelligence agencies' well-known abuses of innocent US citizens who are victimized because they made someone very influential angry, OR maybe they are a whistleblower OR maybe they have had the nerve to excersize their Right to Free Speech and become an Activist of some kind, OR maybe one of the members of the Hate Groups who are paid & trained as so-called "Community Policing" just didnt like a new neighbor so they decided to put that person's name on the ever-growing Targeted Suspicious Person List maintained by Govmt Intelligency Agencies. WELL after that happens, then the poor neighbor who is a law-abiding citizen and whom has done nothing to nobody has their name transferred from Targeted Suspicious Person List to COMMUNITY DANGEROUS PERSON LIST along with pedfiars and other very serious criminals which then prompts the community to panic for safety by going to and working with the paid Hate Group Reps who work with CIA & FBI on survelliance program investigations. The poor neighbor is then harassed by community who has been convinced that targeted new neighbor is "VERY DANGEROUS PERSON" and this harassment includes vandellism, use of radioactive spy devices, use of electronic harassment laisers (radiation....really), use of sound devices planted around poor neighbor's home to constantly harass, survelliance bugs used on poor neighbor's phone/computer/radios, constant vandelism to private property, slander campaign of poor neighbor in community = ORGANIZED STALKING & ELECTRONIC HARASSMENT in which thousands of Americans are being victimized by every day and nobody seems to care and nobody ever helps. ORGANIZED STALKING is ORGANIZED CRIME that is permitted by govmt inteligence agencies, local/state authority, media etc - all who is suppose to be protecting citizens' it is the ultimate betrayal of power & justice.

    So if you know someone who is being victimized by this new and rapidly growing crime called Organized Stalking (aka Gang Stalking) & Electronic Harassment, please LISTEN WITH AN OPEN MIND to their recounts AND THEN HELP THEM BY TELLING YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN THAT YOU DO NOT SUPPORT GOVERNMENT'S INVOLUNTARY SURVELLIANCE PROGRAMS.

     

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  27.  
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    You'll Probably Assume I'm a Conservative, Feb 13th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Doesn't anybody actually read this stuff?

    The "40,000" number is a questionable estimate made up by th EFF. The number of potential violations actually described in the documents they have is 768.

     

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  28.  
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    DrPaypayTee, Feb 13th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Everything is stupid. Don't do anything, but also, don't do nothing. Fucked. Don't give a shit or your shit will get fucked.

     

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  29.  
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    Bob, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    It's okay when Democrats do it.

    It's just not okay when Republicans do.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous 2, Sep 1st, 2013 @ 6:03pm

    Organized Stalking

    Great comment. For an archive of news articles on gang stalking search "FightGangStalking."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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