Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In Secret Battle, Surveillance Court Reined in FBI Use of Information Obtained from Phone Calls

Beginning over a decade ago, the country’s surveillance court intervened to limit the FBI’s ability to act on some sensitive information that it collected while monitoring phone calls.

The wrangling between the FBI and the secret court are contained in previously undisclosed documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy information Center, or EPIC, in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and were shared with The Intercept.

The documents reveal that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told the FBI several times between 2005 and 2007 that using some incidental information it collected while monitoring communications in an investigation—specifically, numbers people punch into their phones after they’ve placed a call—would require an explicit authorization from the court, even in an emergency.

“The newly obtained summaries are significant because they show the power that the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has to limit expansive FBI surveillance practices,” Alan Butler, an attorney for EPIC, wrote in an email to The Intercept.

https://theintercept.com/2016/07/27/in-secret-battle-surveillance-court-reined-in-fbi-use-of-information-obtained-from-phone-calls/


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