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FBI finally acknowledges purchasing location information on Individuals, shocking experts

FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed for the 1st time at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday that the organization has previously bought the location data of American people without getting a warrant, according to Wired.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) questioned Wray directly, “Would the FBI buy American phone-geolocation data,” which produced the revelation that has upset privacy advocates. Wray’s answer avoided the issue but offered a rare glimpse into how the FBI has secretly tracked Citizens using location information.

“To my understanding, we don’t now buy commercial database information which includes location data collected from online advertisements,” Wray stated. “I believe that for a particular national security pilot project, we earlier in the past, bought some such material. But that hasn’t been active in a while.”

According to the Supreme Court, when government organizations obtain location data without a warrant, they may violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects Citizens from unnecessary searches. But privacy activists like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have continuously discovered proof that government agencies, such as the FBI, have referred to an illegal excuse to keep buying location data that they may be unable to access legally.

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