FISA rules FBI’s use of surveillance database unlawful

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) ruled that some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s electronic surveillance activities violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans swept up in a controversial foreign intelligence program. The ruling appears to be a rare rebuke to U.S. spying programs, as the court concluded that in at least a handful of cases, the FBI had been improperly searching a database of raw intelligence for information on Americans. These instances include improper access by FBI agent to databases, or use by the Bureau of intelligence information (related to more than 70,000 emails, phone numbers and other digital identifiers) to vet its personal and cooperating sources.