The FBI is evaluating separate criminal referrals sent to the Justice Department by the CIA in its dispute with Senate investigators over access to documents about the agency's "enhanced interrogation" practices, officials familiar with the matter said.
The CIA and one of its two main congressional overseers, the Senate Intelligence Committee, have traded accusations that each inappropriately intruded into computer systems containing highly classified data about the Bush-era practices, which human rights activists have described as torture.
The outrage over massive, pervasive surveillance has put the NSA in the spotlight, somewhere its officials are obviously uncomfortable being. The administration's minimal efforts to address domestic surveillance have also focused on the agency. But there's an agency doing just as much privacy-invading as the NSA and its efforts are now going largely unnoticed, as Emily Berman points out at Just Security.
While investigating a hosting company known for sheltering child porn last year the FBI incidentally seized the entire e-mail database of a popular anonymous webmail service called TorMail.
Now the FBI is tapping that vast trove of e-mail in unrelated investigations.
The U.S. last week brought charges against two Arkansas men for operating an e-mail hacking website, needapassword.com, which offered to obtain passwords to any e-mail account for a fee. The scheme, operated by Mark Anthony Townsend of Cedarville, Ark., and Joshua Alan Tabor of Prairie Grove, affected some 6,000 accounts, according to a Jan. 24 press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Cedarville and Prairie Grove have a combined population of less than 6,000 people. Yet the investigation into the website stretched around the globe.
According to newly-declassified court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the National Security Agency (NSA) was (and may still be) tipping off the FBI at least two to three times per day going back at least to 2006.
Hours after President Barack Obama finished his speech last Friday on proposed intelligence and surveillance reforms, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) declassified a number of documents from the nation’s most secretive court.