Turns Out the Fed Probably Have Been Listening

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For years, Americans who have been concerned about the Feds listening in to our conversations and monitoring our communications have been called “conspiracy theorists.” A leaked email obtained by WIRED magazine from FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate in April proves that they aren’t crazy. Instead, they were likely right.

Referencing “Section 702,” which allows FBI officials to investigate Americans using warrantless wiretaps and other spy tactics, he told agents they needed to start using it more. A highly controversial program, the FBI has already been caught using it to spy on journalists, protestors, as well as at least one sitting member of Congress.

In the April 20th email, Abbate says, “To continue to demonstrate why tools like this are essential to our mission, we need to use them while also holding ourselves accountable for doing so properly and in compliance with legal requirements…I urge everyone to continue to look for ways to appropriately use US person queries to advance the mission, with the added confidence that this new pre-approval requirement will help ensure that those queries are fully compliant with the law.”

Unsurprisingly, the FBI is already in full spin mode. Advocating for the press to leave the story alone, they ascertain that he meant to remind agents how crucial the issue is and ensure they remain on the right side of the law with this. They claim that new changes and complexities in the section required him to announce Section 702 to bring awareness to the agents under his command.

No matter how Abbate or his office wants to try and spin this, the data speaks for itself. Per their accountability guidelines, they performed 119,000 of these searches in 2022 and 57,000 in 2023. They even acknowledge at least 2% of the time, they are done without full compliance, and that’s just what they’ll own up to. As history has shown us, they always suppress such figures.

So know that the little **click click** you heard when you and Tommy were chatting about the deals you got outside when the gun show ended was probably being recorded.