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FBI to ease restrictions on agents' investigative powers

The FBI is due to release a new edition of its manual that will endow agents with new powers to monitor people who have caught their attention – including rummaging through their rubbish and putting surveillance teams on targets.

FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni.
FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni.
Image: Dennis Cook/AP/Press Association Images

TENS OF THOUSANDS of FBI agents are to be given new powers that will permit them to search databases, rummage through peoples’ waste and use surveillance teams to monitor targets.

The Bureau is due to release a revised edition of its manual, named the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, the New York Times reports. New regulations in the manual will grant agents greater scope when conducting investigations, according to an official who had looked at the contents.

Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, has denounced the extension of agents’ powers, particularly without a firm reason for a person to be monitored. German said that the new regulations “further raises the potential for abuse,” reports the Boston Globe.

However, general counsel for the FBI Valerie E Caproni argued that the FBI did not need permission to alter its manual, and said that past security issues had been resolved.

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