FBI hiring outside firm to help with spying tool reform - Business Insider

www.businessinsider.com
7 min read
difficult
Outside firms had until this week to bid on a contract to help revamp the process FBI investigators use to seek permission before spying on those believed to be working for foreign powers.
The FBI is hiring a private company to help change its politics surrounding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a controversial tool used to spy on Americans.

The move is prompting concern about the seriousness of the reforms and raises questions about the FBI's past ability to check its work for mistakes.

A Democratic congressional source told Insider the bureau's problems policing itself stem from an attitude of 'We're the FBI. Trust us.'

The FBI faces questions about whether its sensitive data will be exposed as it works with an outside contractor, but the bureau insists the firm it picks will just be focused on developing new policies.

"Although the FBI's repeated abuses deserve greater scrutiny, including routine auditing, these changes do not go nearly far enough," said an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The FBI is hiring a private contractor to help overhaul its policies surrounding a controversial tool used for spying on Americans that has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump.

It's a move that is prompting concerns about the seriousness of the reforms and the federal government's ability to protect sensitive information. It also raises questions about whether the FBI has had the internal resources needed to vet its work in the past. In a recent announcement about improving oversight of federal agents' use of the surveillance tool, the bureau acknowledged a "gap" in its ability to police itself.

Outside firms had until this week to bid on a contract to help revamp the process by which investigators seek permission to use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on those believed to be working for foreign powers. In the Sept. 23 contract solicitation, the FBI said it "relies extensively" on the 1978 law to collect information as part of investigations into terrorists and other countries' spying operations in the US.

The FBI, which employs more than 30,000 people…
Emma Loop
Read full article