Leaked document shows the FBI does not have to jump through a lot of hoops to get access to journalists’ call data. (Photo: Roger H. Goun/flickr/cc)
Newly leaked documents published by The Intercept expose just how easy it is for the FBI to spy on journalists using so-called National Security Letters (NSLs).
The classified rules, which had previously been released only in heavily redacted form, “show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information,” The Intercept‘s Cora Currier wrote on Thursday.
According to the reporting, an attempt to access journalists’ call data with an NSL must be approved by the typical chain-of-command as well as the FBI’s general counsel and the executive assistant director of the agency’s National Security Branch.
“Generally speaking, there are a variety of FBI officials, including the agents in charge of field offices, who can sign off that an NSL is ‘relevant’ to a national security investigation,” Currier explained.
Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an advocacy group which had petitioned for the release of these documents, calls Thursday’s revelations “quite disturbing, since the Justice Department spent two years trying to convince the public that it updated its ‘Media Guidelines’ to create a very high and restrictive bar for when and how they could spy on journalists using regular subpoenas and court orders. These leaked rules prove that the FBI and [Department of Justice or DOJ] can completely circumvent the Media Guidelines and just use an NSL in total secrecy.”
Emails between school officials at one Canadian high school reveal the school has been struggling to integrate into the school adult Syrian refugees, who reportedly are bullying and threatening students and teachers, as well as making advances on young teenage girls.
After receiving a tip about Fredericton High School in New Brunswick, Canada–a region that has been aggressively resettling thousands of Syrian refugees–Canadian news organization TheRebel submitted a freedom of information request to the school, asking for any information regarding problems the school might be having with the integration of Syrian immigrants.
TheRebel received more than 2,700 documents from the school in response to their request. Because of the sheer number of emails, the organization is breaking the story up into several reports this week on their show “The Hunt” with reporter Faith Goldy.
One email, Goldy reported on Monday, said that 19 and 20-year-old Syrian migrants were aggressively confronting teachers, “particularly when it comes to the girls in the class, and also bullying the others in the class.”
One school employee reported “issues surrounding gender/age divisions that seems important to our Syrian population–especially these older boys when it comes to their younger sisters.”