(LifeSiteNews) — Members of Congress recently questioned the FBI Director about, among other things, surveillance of Americans. Congress reportedly described such surveillance as illegal.
It is not clear if Congress is aware that the FBI might not care if FBI employees do illegal things. (It is also not clear if Congress really cares whether FBI employees do illegal things, but that is a different subject.) The FBI apparently allows itself (and others, to be mentioned in a moment) to commit crimes which are described as “otherwise illegal activity.” (Pages 10, 12, etc.)
A DOJ description of otherwise illegal activity is as follows:
The Confidential Informant Guidelines permit the FBI to authorize confidential informants to engage in activities that would otherwise constitute crimes under state or federal law if engaged in by someone without such authorization. Such conduct is termed “otherwise illegal activity” or “OIA.”
Otherwise illegal activity, then, includes actions which would be crimes for the normal American but are apparently not crimes when the FBI says so.
Separate FBI guidelines apparently allow FBI employees (which may be different than the “confidential informants” mentioned above) to commit such otherwise illegal activity.
The FBI’s guidelines also apparently imply that otherwise illegal activity may be committed by one or more “Federal, state, or local law enforcement organization working with the FBI.” (Page 1)
It is necessary to emphasize that criticizing the use of “otherwise illegal activity” by the FBI and others is not to say, “the FBI is allowed to commit crimes, so why can’t we?”
Instead, one point being made here is that crimes often result in some kind of physical, psychological, or financial harm to the victim. It seems that the FBI may commit such violence or cause harm to Americans.
And, indeed, FBI guidelines describing secret or “undercover” operations involving otherwise illegal activity explain that with some secret FBI operations there may be “a reasonable expectation that the undercover operation will involve” […] “violence or significant risk of injury or financial loss” to the targeted person or people. (Pages 6 and 7)
If the FBI says that FBI employees and local or State law enforcement working with the FBI might participate in operations which are reasonably expected to involve violence or risk of injury or financial loss to Americans, then does it follow that the FBI implies that they are potential threats to Americans? Who preventatively polices such potential threats within the FBI and Federal, state, or local law enforcement organization working with the FBI?
Another point being made here is, again, that when Congress says things like “the FBI committed illegal surveillance!”, it is not clear if that really means anything to FBI employees or Federal, state, or local law enforcement organization working with the FBI, since FBI and/or Department of Justice employees wrote the guidelines which apparently allows FBI employees to commit such illegal activity.
Several more points could be made about such otherwise illegal activity; most of those points are probably common sense.
What might not be known by many, though, are the types of advanced surveillance systems that might be used illegally by the FBI and Federal, state, or local law enforcement organizations working with the FBI. If the FBI and other government law enforcement entities working with the FBI can commit otherwise illegal surveillance, one might want to know what surveillance technologies, whether illegal or not mentioned in laws, rules, or regulations, may be in use.
Only a few of potentially many advanced surveillance systems and technologies can be mentioned in this article. One surveillance technology which is relevant here is sometimes described as “Range-R” radars and function in the following way: The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.
The FBI reportedly began using the technology during the Obama-Biden Administration. Other similar technologies which might see into homes or buildings include heat-sensing or thermal technologies.
A few years ago a former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy made a significant statement on advanced surveillance technologies. He apparently implied that there is technology which allows governments to “see into” homes, buildings, etc., which could be used by governments to surveil every action of every human being throughout their whole life. The former U.S. Secretary of Energy stated:
We are engaged in an epic race for AI [artificial intelligence] supremacy…with rival nations … holding rival notions … about freedom. If we fail to win this race… Churchill’s words of warning could well become a reality. As I speak…China and Russia are striving to overtake us … and as every one of us knows… neither of these nations shares our values… or our freedoms. Both of these nations are crushing liberty at home…with China building an AI surveillance state … capable of monitoring every move its citizens make. (Breaks in sentences are in the original quotation.)
First, it is not clear if the former secretary was implying that America could only win the race to artificial intelligence supremacy by making an operational surveillance system which monitors every move Americans make. Obviously, such a statement, if that was the meaning, would be a problem.
Next, while this is probably common sense, it is important to emphasize that the former Secretary uses the word “monitoring” to mean the same thing as “surveillance” of and spying on human actions. Many U.S. Federal laws and other documents use the word “monitor” in contexts which appear to imply secret government surveillance of human actions. His statement provides support for such interpretations.
Also, it might be significant that the former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy made the previous statement. What does the Department of Energy have to do with advanced surveillance technologies and “artificial intelligence”?
A possible answer might be that the Department of Energy develops technologies like advanced x-rays and lasers, infrared surveillance systems, other physical imaging technologies, and advanced molecular imaging technologies. If infrared surveillance satellites in space can detect movement of heat generated by missiles on earth, then similar technologies might be able to detect movement of humans in their homes from remote FBI or other surveillance locations on earth.
Finally, it is significant that the previous quotation apparently implies that surveillance technologies are already capable of “monitoring every move” citizens make; China was, apparently, merely putting things together for the artificial intelligence surveillance state.
“Monitoring every move” includes human movements in homes and buildings. Thus, the statement likely implies that there are advanced surveillance technologies that can “see into” homes and other buildings at every moment of a person’s life.
Congress often questions FBI employees about illegally collecting Americans’ electronic device data. Such questions make it appear as though data surveillance of Americans is the only type of illegal surveillance the FBI might use. Such questions may be a distraction from potentially advanced surveillance technologies which can surveil every move Americans make from the moment they are born until the end of their life.