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Friday, May 26, 2017

Unmasking Not A Bad Thing, Unless It Is You! FBI Should Be Ashamed

BREAKING: Obama's FBI Passed Around Classified Information On American Citizens To People Outside Government

Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ashocking report from revealed on Friday that the FBI under 
director James Comey “illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with 
unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, 
according to newly declassified government documents.” That’s a bombshell 
charge — Comey told Congress earlier this month that the FBI only used 
warrantless data that was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked” — 
but the specifics are even more damning.
According to Circa, one ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 
(FISA) “list[ed] hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization 
rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.” That included giving intelligence data to 
third parties who weren’t cleared to see it, among them “a private entity that did 
not have the legal right to see the intelligence.” The FBI claims that the number
 of violations is small by percentage of all data operations.
Trump acolytes will undoubtedly suggest that this is precisely what happened
with Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was caught up in surveillance of Russian third 
parties, unmasked by the Obama administration, and then revealed to the press 
by someone in the know. They will suggest that we now know that the FBI was 
often exceeding its mandate by searching data without a warrant that they should 
not have, and by occasionally allowing that information to flow outside of 
established channels.
In reality, the business of national security is sloppy. Mistakes will undoubtedly 
be made. The question is twofold: what sort of mistakes were made with
 regard to leaking the identity of Flynn to the press? And more generally,
were the systems in place for restricting the free flow of classified information 
about American citizens sufficient?