Unsealed Surveillance Court Document Reveals 702 Misuse
On May 19, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the FBI’s surveillance authority known as Section 702, unsealed a memorandum opinion and order revealing that the FBI improperly used the 702 database 278,000 times. The FBI improperly queried crime victims, suspects in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and people arrested at protests stemming from the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, according to the unsealed document. Another case included a batch query of 19,000 donors to an unnamed—and ultimately unsuccessful—congressional candidate.
The opinion dates back to April 2022, and senior officials from the FBI told the press on condition of anonymity that the Bureau has made significant changes since the court initially issued the memorandum. The unsealed document comes at a time of intense debate over whether Congress should reauthorize Section 702, which is set to sunset at the end of the year.
You can read the opinion here or below: