After a recently unsealed court opinion censuring the FBI for impermissibly searching sprawling NSA databases for information on Americans, the bureau has again vowed to fix itself.
The FBI has for years promised to address the issue, but the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which oversees the use of the intelligence databases, has repeatedly found the remedies lacking, though the last FBI internal audit showed improvements.
A 2022 FISC opinion unsealed on May 12 noted the FBI had no right to search the databases for information on as many as hundreds of thousands of Americans, including many participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, protest and riot at the U.S. Capitol. Those were only the violations identified by the government itself.
The FBI repeatedly searched the foreign intelligence databases without proper justification—sometimes using individual names of criminal suspects, other times using whole lists of “identifiers” such as names or telephone numbers, according to the