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FBI 'DROWNING' IN INFO FROM BUGS, WIRETAPS...

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VOICES INSIDE THEIR HEADS: FBI 'DROWNING' IN INFO FROM BUGS, WIRETAPS

Tue Feb 24 2004 08:48:10 ET

 

Thanks to the bundle of anti-terrorism measures known as the USA Patriot Act, the FBI is conducting a "record amount" of electronic surveillance, including the use of wiretaps and bugs, CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY reports on Tuesday.

 

But the bureau can't keep up with all the information pouring in from those and other sources, CQ's Justin Rood reports.

 

"We have a record amount of collection going on," said FBI spokesman Ed Cogswell in a telephone interview.

 

The Justice Department's 2005 budget justification for the bureau backs Cogswell up.

 

"Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) collection volumes are expected to continue an upward trend for months and years ahead," the justification for the FBI reads.

 

The document says the increases are the result of "statutory easements to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authority (USA Patriot Act), a shift of FBI investigative resources to counterterrorism and counterintelligence programs heavily dependant [sic] upon ELSUR collection, and incremental growth in available ELSUR line capacity."

 

Electronic Surveillance - ELSUR - refers to telephone wiretaps, hidden microphones, cameras placed in private areas, and other forms of surreptitious interception of oral, written or electronic communication.

 

The 2001 Patriot Act (PL 107-56) included provisions making it easier for the FBI to obtain permission to spy on individuals as a part of counterterrorism investigations.

 

"All systems are go," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

 

Developing...

 

www.drudgereport.com

 

http://www.drudgereport.com/flash2.htm

 

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