In this country we have plenty of rights that are supposed to be guaranteed to us by the Constitution. One of those rights, one of the most important, protects us from illegal search and seizure by the government. Apparently, in 2021, the FBI decided that right doesn’t matter anymore.
An annual transparency report released late last week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation pulled data from as many as 3.4 million US residents in 2021 with no warrant.
The report claimed the agents were protected legally under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and were looking for links to terrorism, primarily Russian actors attacking US infrastructure. This particular provision is set to expire next year unless it is renewed by Congress.
The report was immediately condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU, who released this statement.
“Today’s report sheds light on the extent of these unconstitutional ‘backdoor searches,’ and underscores the urgency of the problem,” Ashley Gorski, senior staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, said in a statement. “It’s past time for Congress to step in to protect Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.”
The Biden Administration was quick to come to the defense of the FBI, claiming that the results were likely being exaggerated and stressing their continued trust in the intelligence community.
“We’re committed to proactively informing the public, who entrusts us to protect our nation and our civil liberties, on the Intelligence Community’s use of key national security authorities,” said ODNI Chief of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency Ben Huebner.
A senior FBI official told reporters Friday, “The 3.4 million figure “is certainly a large number after the report was released. “I am not going to pretend that it isn’t.”
Americans should absolutely be concerned for their privacy when the government is willing to overstep the Constitution by this much. Do you think it’s time to repeal many of the legislative actions that were put in place following 9/11 or do you believe the government is using them to protect us from harm?