Unsealed document says FBI abused surveillance powers almost 300K times in 2 years

By Jen Krausz on
 May 21, 2023

It's almost unfathomable -- an unsealed court document alleges that the FBI misused its ability to surveil American citizens almost 300,000 times in 2020 and 2021.

The bureau used its vast database called Section 702 to conduct warrantless searches on Americans without having to get a warrant.

The capability was used to spy on Americans thought to be involved in Jan. 6 unrest or the George Floyd police brutality protests.

Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote that “compliance problems with the querying of Section 702 information have proven to be persistent and widespread,” and suggested that more limits might be needed if the abuses continued.

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) also criticized the agency after the document was unsealed, saying, “There is important, secret information about how the government has interpreted Section 702 that Congress and the American people need to see before the law is renewed.”

The law will expire at the end of 2023 unless renewed by Congress.