- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
Senior Biden administration officials on Tuesday announced new disciplinary measures to prevent further FBI abuses under a controversial surveillance program that will expire at year's end unless Congress renews it.
A new "three strike" FBI policy will have analysts disciplined, or even fired, for three incidents in which they misuse the intelligence program, Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The program, known as Section 702, allows authorized US officials to search a vast database that gathers phone calls and text messages of foreign targets overseas from US telecommunications providers. The data can include the communications of Americans in touch with those foreign targets.
The new FBI disciplinary measures are a response to heated criticism of the FBI from lawmakers from both parties after recently revealed examples of FBI using the foreign intelligence tool to search for information on Americans.
US officials and many lawmakers agree that the program is vital to US national security, but the recently revealed abuses have complicated the program's renewal and sharpened concerns in Congress about a lack of civil liberties protections.
"I've got to see more [reforms]" than what the Justice Department has presented to the committee in the last two years, said Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who chairs the committee.
The FBI improperly searched a Section 702 database for information on suspects in the January 6, 2021, US Capitol riot and people arrested at 2020 protests after the police killing of George Floyd, according to a court opinion that was unsealed and released last month.
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