The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has violated its own guidelines by spying on anti-Keystone pipeline activists, failing to obtain approval before opening files on campaigners, the Guardian reported Tuesday, citing the agency’s internal documents.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Under the agency's guidelines, the FBI should not get involved in sensitive political issues. However, FBI agents violated this rule by closely monitoring activists who oppose the construction of the controversial pipeline.
The FBI collected information about forthcoming protests, cultivated informants and gathered data about some activists, the documents reveal.
The FBI documents also referred to the protesters as environmental “extremists.”
The Department of Justice, which governs the FBI’s activities, found that the investigation launched by the Houston field office amounted to “substantial non-compliance” with the agency’s guidelines.
The Keystone XL oil pipeline, which is yet to be approved by the Obama administration, is supposed to connect Alberta, Canada and the US Gulf Coast.
Various environmental groups oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming that the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) assessment of the project proves that its potential impact on climate change is too great to allow it to proceed.
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