11:55 GMT30 November 2020
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    FBI does not conduct systematic checks of personnel’s compliance with regulations for phone metadata collection, US Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said. Agency rely on employees assigned to cases involving pen registers to report any potential compliance violations.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does not conduct systematic checks of personnel’s compliance with regulations for phone metadata collection, US Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a report on Thursday.

    “FBI do[es] not conduct systematic compliance reviews of pen registers, and instead rely on personnel assigned to cases involving pen registers to report any potential compliance violations,” the report said.

    The OIG has reviewed the FBI’s use of pen register and trap-and-trace devices that capture the metadata of outgoing and incoming calls on a phone in the period from 2007 to 2009.

    Under internal FBI policy, the agency’s employees are expected to follow a process to identify and self-report potential violations, according to the report.

    “While we [OIG] did not conduct an independent compliance review of individual cases, we did not find any compliance incidents that had not been previously identified,” the report added.

    The OIG said the Justice Department’s National Security Division has also failed to conduct systematic compliance checks.

    The US government has been taking steps to regulate data collection in the country.

    On June 2, US President Barack Obama signed the USA Freedom Act that will end the US government’s mass collection of US citizens’ phone records who are not suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. Nevertheless, the US National Security Agency is still permitted to collect targeted information about certain individuals.

    Despite criticism, Obama argued that the law would protect civil liberties, provide additional transparency measures and make US citizens more confident in national security programs.


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