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Warrantless FBI searches of American communications drop 50 percent

Cath Virginia / The Verge | Photos from Getty Images

The FBI cut its warrantless searches of American data in half in 2023, according to a government report released on Tuesday. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s annual transparency report, the FBI conducted 57,094 searches of “US person” data under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act last year — a 52 percent decrease from 2022.

In a press briefing, a senior FBI official said that the drop was due to reforms the agency implemented in 2021 and 2022, The Record reports. Despite the drop in overall searches of Americans’ data, the report also notes that the number of foreign targets whose data could be searched in the Section 702 database rose to 268,590, a 9 percent increase from the…

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