New Guidelines Expand FBI’s Powers to Abuse Citizens’ Freedom


New updates to the FBI’s agent manual, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), greatly expand the FBI’s powers to search for information relating to groups or individuals who are not suspected of wrongdoing. The DIOG, which has been described as a collection of procedures, standards, approval levels, and explanations, to be used by FBI agents, was created in 2008 to help implement new Attorney General’s Guidelines that were issued earlier that year. These guidelines reconciled a number of previously separate guidelines, the first of which had been issued in 1976.

Under the 2011 revision to the guide, for example, agents may search the FBI’s extensive databases without making a record about why they are doing so. This opens the door for agents to use the databases for their own personal purposes, for reasons ranging from simple curiosity to more nefarious purposes such as targeting an individual against whom an agent has a grudge.

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