The FBI and other agencies have been secretly acquiring the personal information of Americans in an apparent attempt to circumvent the Constitution's ban on illegal activities.
In March, the FBI admitted that it had acquired the geolocation data of millions of Americans from mobile ads. However, the agency noted that it had stopped doing this practice due to various legal issues.
The DHS, for instance, has been acquiring the global positioning system data of US citizens.
During a House committee meeting in March, Ben Cline, a Republican from Virginia, asked Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department, about the FBI's acquisition of the data.
During the meeting, Cline also asked about the other agencies of the Justice Department that have been acquiring the private information of Americans.
When asked about the issue, the inspector general said that the department was looking into it.
According to Cline, the FBI and other agencies believed that they could acquire the location data of Americans without a warrant, given that a Supreme Court ruling in a case known as U.S. v. Carpenter had stated that the privacy of Americans' data would be protected.
During the meeting, Michael said that the situation raises various issues. He believed that the department had been taking advantage of the legal ambiguity surrounding the issue before the Carpenter case was decided.
The case was decided in 2018 by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government has to get a search warrant to monitor the activities of suspects using cellular providers.
He also said that he was not aware of the other parts of the department that are collecting data on Americans without a warrant.
During the meeting with Attorney General Garland, Cline pressed him on the issue.
As he continued to ask questions, Cline asked Garland if he agreed with Michael Horowitz's opinion that the acquisition of private information should have not happened following the Carter administration.
When asked about the FBI's admission that it had been acquiring the private information of millions of Americans, Garland said that he had no more knowledge about the matter than Director Christopher Wray.
When it came to the issue of the Department of Justice still acquiring the location data of Americans, Cline asked Garland if there were still parts of the agency that did so.
The attorney general said that the Justice Department was looking into the matter to determine which parts of the FBI were involved in this practice.
The FBI's Cyber Division reportedly spent thousands of dollars on acquiring geolocation data about Americans. It uses this information to investigate hackers.
The data collected by the FBI is referred to as flow data, which can include details about the traffic that a server sends and receives from another computer. It can be used to analyze the activities of individuals using the internet. Team Cymru, a company that sells this data to the government, uses agreements with Internet service providers (ISPs) to get the information.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Bearded Patriot