F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

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F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby i8godzilla » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:49 pm

Still not sure what I think about this................

New York Times Online wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/us/13fbi.html
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
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Re: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby AEA » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:15 pm

I think they need to reduce the Agents to about 5,000. :cheers2:
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Re: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby The Annoyed Man » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:44 pm

Without warrants? I don't think so.
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Re: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby srothstein » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:24 pm

Most of what is going to be allowed has long been legal, just forbidden by FBI policy. They will now allow things that are legal for any other police agency, such as going through a person's trash or running their names in law enforcement databases. I really do not have a problem with these changes as general policy changes.

The big difference is the one I have a problem with. They will now be able to do this without first opening a case or making a record of it. This will open them up to the very same types of abuse they have arrested other police officers for. Running the same person once per week to because they want to find anything they can use against the person for example, or running a car and using the database to track down the name and contact information for some member of the opposite sex. And I know they have arrested officers for running people as informal background checks for others (like the apartment complex manager checking a potential tenant).

When there is a case required and a record of each person run each time, there is significantly less chance for abuse than the proposed new system (as written by the paper anyway).
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Re: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby b322da » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:05 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:Without warrants? I don't think so.

I was beginning to seriously worry, TAM. I have been agreeing with you much too often lately.

This is nothing new for the Bureau. They have done all of this before, without needing warrants, but permission had to be obtained up higher in their internal chain-of-command to avoid a messy public relations situation caused by a klutzy SA intent on making a reputation, not because they had any constitutional concern. Many other law enforcement agencies have done the same for a long time.

It concerns me greatly, and here I am agreeing with you again, but I am sadly convinced that if a little bit of discretion and common sense are used this will pass muster in the judicial system. Not having seen the hard copy, it would appear to me that the enumerated powers now given to low-level SAs all appear to be within generally-accepted court-blessed exceptions to 4th Amendment limitations. You would think that the Bureau would at least require such actions to be bounced off the appropriate SAC first, and perhaps they do.

This is just a further indication of the continuing erosion of the 4th Amendment by all three branches of the federal government. 9/11 is the excuse generally given by all three, but is it really necessary to go so far? That is the question.

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Re: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Postby VMI77 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:30 pm

b322da wrote:It concerns me greatly, and here I am agreeing with you again, but I am sadly convinced that if a little bit of discretion and common sense are used this will pass muster in the judicial system.
Elmo


The evidence presented in the article suggests little discretion and common sense are used. Quoting:

The F.B.I. has opened thousands of such low-level investigations each month, and a vast majority has not generated information that justified opening more intensive investigations.

Thousands of investigations a month that go no where. That's not even an effective use of resources if the intent is to solve or prevent crime, so making it easier to conduct these kinds of "investigations" suggests some less noble motive.
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