I have read from an article that members of the FBI took advantage of a program called Section 702, which "granted FBI agents the ability to search a database of electronic intelligence, including phone numbers, emails, and other identifying data", to look up information on friends, coworkers, and people who weren't a threat to national security. The article mentions that the FISC court deemed these actions as violations of the 4th Amendment and says that the FBI needs to create new procedures and a compliance review team, but that is it. Has the FBI created specific procedures and done anything other than making a new compliance team in order to prevent such abuses from happening in the future?


Has the FBI created specific procedures and done anything other than making a new compliance team in order to prevent such abuses from happening in the future?

In a sworn statement released January 10, 2020, Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitted an "implementation plan for [...] twelve FISA-specific Corrective Actions".

  • (U) (#1) Supplementing the FISA Request form with new questions, including a checklist of relevant information, which will direct agents to provide additional information and to collect all details relevant to the consideration of a probable cause finding, emphasizing the need to err on the side of disclosure;
  • (U) ( #2) Requiring that all information known at the time of the request and bearing on the reliability of a CHS whose information is used to support the FISA application is captured in the FISA Request Form and verified by the CHS handler;
  • (U) (#3) Adding reverification directives to the FISA Verification Form, known as the Woods Form, which will require agents and their supervisors to attest to their diligence in re-verifying facts from prior factual applications and to confirm that any changes or clarifying facts, to the extent needed, are in the FISA renewal application;
  • (U) (#4) Improving the FISA Verification Form by adding a section devoted to CHSs, including a new certification related to the CHS-originated content in the FISA application by the CHS handler, and CHS-related information that requires confirmation by the CHS handler, which will be maintained in the CHS's file;
  • (U) (#5) Adding an affirmation to the FISA Verification Form that, to the best of the agent's and supervisor's knowledge, OI has been apprised of all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information in the application or otherwise raise doubts about the requested probable cause findings or the theory of the case;
  • (U) (#6) Adding a checklist to the FISA Verification Form that walks through the new and existing steps for the supervisor who is affirming the case agent's accuracy review prior to his or her signature, affirming the completeness of the accuracy review;
  • (U) (#7) Formalizing the role of FBI attorneys in the legal review process for FISA applications, to include identification of the point at which SES-level FBI OGC personnel will be involved, which positions may serve as the supervisory legal reviewer, and establishing the documentation required for the legal review;
  • (U) (#8) Creating and teaching a case study based on the OIG Report findings, analyzing all steps of that particular FISA application and its renewals to show FBI personnel the errors, omissions, failures to follow policy, and communication breakdowns, and to instruct where new or revised policies and procedures will apply, so that mistakes of the past are not repeated;
  • (U) (#9) Requiring serialization of completed FISA Verification Forms in the FBI's case management system to increase accountability and transparency;
  • (U) (#10) Developing and requiring new training focused on FISA process rigor and the steps FBI personnel must take, at all levels, to make sure that OI and the FISC are apprised of all information in the FBI's holdings at the time of an application that would be relevant to a determination of probable cause;
  • (U) (#11) Identifying and pursuing short- and long-term technological Improvements, in partnership with DOJ, that will aid in consistency and accountability; and,
  • (U) (#12) Directing the FBI's recently expanded Office of Integrity and Compliance to work with the FBI's Resource Planning Office to identify and propose audit, review, and compliance mechanisms to ensure the above changes to the FISA process are effective.
  • The above-mentioned "corrective actions" address a different set of problems from the section 702 violations raise in the question. Section 702 is about warrantless surveillance; but the "FISA Verification" issue addresses shortcomings in the processes used to obtain warrants, particularly the Carter Page warrant. May 25 '20 at 15:04
  • Most media reports have failed to differentiate, but the FISC (court) certainly hasn't. To better understand the distinction, you may find this good reading: themarketswork.com/2018/04/01/… May 25 '20 at 15:19

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