That’s according to a new court document abused by the FBI a powerful digital monitoring tool more than 278,000 times.
What happened: The federal agency used a controversial foreign surveillance agency against victims of crime, suspects in the Jan. 6 riots and Black Lives Matter protesters and in one case against 19,000 donors to a congressional candidate, reported The Washington Post.
The revelation came amid a heated debate on Capitol Hill over the potential renewal of the surveillance tool, Section 702 of the Law on the Surveillance of Foreign Secret Services, which is due to expire at the end of this year. Failure to properly use the database is likely to complicate efforts for renewal in Congress.
A recently declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court memorandum shows that nearly a year ago the FBI conducted a “collective inquiry” into 133 people “arrested in connection with this.” with riots and protests” between May 30 and June 18, 2020.
Why it matters: The renewal of Section 702 is the subject of heated debate Capitol Hillwith bipartisan lawmakers voicing concerns about possible abuses of authority and Violations of privacy by the FBI and other federal agencies.
The president Joe Biden-led administration has argued that Section 702 is critical It serves national security and plays a crucial role in preventing terrorist activityCyber attacks and other planned incidents.