The FBI regularly violates privacy rules to spy on Americans and noncitizens abroad, a judge said in a December ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declassified Friday.
Judge James Boasberg still approved the warrantless surveillance program for another year despite "widespread violations" by analysts conducting the searches.
"It must be noted, however, that there still appear to be widespread violations of the querying standard by the FBI," he wrote.
President George W. Bush started the warrantless wiretapping program under a claim of executive power after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Since 2008, it has been governed by a law known as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which allows the U.S. government to collect the emails and phone calls of noncitizens abroad for foreign intelligence purposes, even when they are communicating with Americans.
Boasberg in his ruling said the FBI in 2019 made at least 87 queries, which are done by collecting data from Google, Verizon, and other communication conduits, that were "not reasonably likely to retrieve foreign-intelligence information or evidence of a crime."
The ruling surfaced two days after a federal appeals court found that a surveillance program used by the National Security Agency to spy on Americans was illegal.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.