(FreedomBeacon.com)- Over the weekend, the Epoch Times reported that, after a year of stonewalling from the both the NSA and the FBI on a FOIA request regarding the bureau’s improper spying on American citizens, the NSA has reversed course and agreed to release the FBI records pertaining to thousands of Americans.
Last year, attorney Ty Clevenger filed the Freedom of Information Act request on behalf of the Texas nonprofit The Transparency Project. The FOIA sought information on improper searches of intelligence databases conducted by the FBI for information on a staggering 16,000 Americans.
In a 2019 memorandum and order, US District Judge James Boasberg wrote that these searches violated the rules that govern the use of the US government’s foreign intelligence information.
At the time, the FBI maintained that the queries for all 16,000 people “were reasonably likely to return foreign-intelligence information or evidence of a crime.” However, the judge found the FBI’s position “unsupportable” in every case but seven of the 16,000 people.
Despite his order, Judge Boasberg allowed the data collection to continue.
Clevenger filed FOIA requests after Judge Boasberg’s order was made public. The requests are seeking information on all the improper searches both from the FBI and from the NSA.
Both the FBI and NSA initially rejected Clevenger’s FOIA request. However, Clevenger appealed both of their rejections. And on June 9, NSA official Linda Kiyosaki notified Clevenger that, after reviewing his appeal, she has decided to grant his request.
Citing the rift that occurred in 2016 between the FBI and then-NSA chief Mike Rogers that resulted in Rogers preventing the FBI access to intelligence databases entirely, Ty Clevenger told the Epoch Times that the NSA’s shift in position on his FOIA request may signal that this rift between the two agencies is still going on.
Clevenger believes the NSA may still be trying to limit the FBI’s access because the NSA knows that the bureau repeatedly abused the rules governing the searches of intelligence database, adding “they [the NSA] know that the FBI is misusing the data intercepts.”