FBI Responds to Guidelines Criticism

Posted on 1 April 2011 by

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On Monday, our Intel Intelligencer highlighted Emily Berman’s report at The Brennan Center, Domestic Intelligence: New Powers, New Risks, in which she proposes changes to the guidelines for domestic surveillance – primarily by the FBI, but in general as well.

We said that you should read the report, as she makes cogent and clear arguments while providing a great overview of current and historic domestic surveillance and intelligence gathering policy.

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran an article on the subject of FBI domestic intelligence guidelines, entitled F.B.I. Casts Wide Net Under Relaxed Rules for Terror Inquiries, Data Show. The Times piece referred to a Department of Justice report which shows that, from December 2008 to March 2009, the FBI initiated nearly 12,000 assessments of people and groups.

The FBI has responded in the New York Times to the Times article, in which it says its tools allow the FBI to,  “…’connect the dots’ between disparate pieces of information to keep the country safe while still respecting the civil liberty and privacy rights of every American.’