April 29, 2022

Wyden: “Surveillance Transparency Report” Fails To Explain How Many Americans’ Communications Are Searched By the FBI

Report Includes Massive Increase in FBI Searches of Americans’ Communications; Fails to Adequately Explain What Caused the Spike; FBI Falls Short of Required Transparency

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called on the FBI to explain the increase in the number of searches of Americans’ communications, and to stop providing essentially meaningless statistics to the American people. 

“For anyone outside the U.S. government, the astronomical number of FBI searches of Americans’ communications is either highly alarming or entirely meaningless,” Wyden said. “Somewhere in all that over-counting are real numbers of FBI searches, for content and for noncontent — numbers that Congress and the American people need before Section 702 is reauthorized. The FBI must also be transparent about the particular circumstances in which it conducted a staggering 1.9 million additional queries in 2021. Finally, the public deserves to know whether the FBI has fully addressed the extensive abuses of its 702 search authorities that have been documented for years. Baseline transparency is essential if the federal government wants to hold such sweeping surveillance powers.” 

The ODNI report can be found here.


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