FBI has been linked to several breaches of privacy over the years, contributing to the tactics of NSA as to the collection and analysis of personal data. In response to the request of the New York Times of Freedom of Information Act and the lawsuit that the newspaper has filed, the US Department of Justice declassified some parts of a surveillance program that had been terminated back in 2012. It is pretty much needless to say that the surveillance program was warrantless, operating in the dark and obtaining private information on the spot.
There have been revelations as to the participation of the FBI to the Prism surveillance program, which has been launched in 2007 by the NSA and has been backed up from the British counterpart, GCHQ. Initially, Prism had been set to motion because of the rising terrorism threats and in avoidance of ignoring basic targets that would become known through tapping telecommunications. However, there have been lots of cases when even US citizens suffered from lack of privacy due to this program.
According to the findings, FBI first asked for email addresses and other personal information coming from Non-Americans within the United States. Then, copies of communications were obtained by the Bureau for further analysis and interpretation. Of course, no warrants have been issued in these cases.
Until 2012, when the surveillance program finally stopped, the involvement and initiative of the FBI in the program has been growing steadily. The revelations were brought to light, after the respective information and leaks that have been given by Edward J. Snowden to the newspaper. Since not all of the report has become publicly known, the newspaper might go further and ask for even deeper revelations.
Warrantless surveillance programs are not news to the US soil, as there has been the precedent of George W. Bush having ordered the NSA to intercept the data from international phone calls and emails within the United States back in 2001. This case had shaken the waters of security for Americans and the whole story has been highlighted in detail with exhibits by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Although there a lot of efforts had been made towards legalizing the surveillance program, the earthquake that occurred due to its revelation was not to be forgotten.
Ali Qamar is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. He is the founder and chief editor at Security Gladiators, an ultimate source for cyber security. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best. Follow Ali on Twitter @AliQammar57
(Security Affairs – FBI, surveillance)