Although the law has become synonymous with the NSA’s collection of call records, it actually has a much wider scope. In addition to authorizing ongoing collection of telephone records, Section 215’s “business records” authority allows the government to obtain a secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requiring third parties to hand over any records or other “tangible thing” if deemed “relevant” to an international terrorism, counterespionage, or foreign intelligence investigation.
„As we noted publicly last year in our report, we were very concerned about that,“ Horowitz said at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
„We are investigating those contacts. We’ve issued a couple of public summaries so far about people we’ve found violated FBI policy. We have other investigations ongoing,“ Horowitz continued.
He added that, while it has been hard to prove the substance of conversations between FBI and reporters or outside individuals, “we can prove the contacts.“
„Under FBI policy you need authorization if you’re going to disclose information and have certain contacts,“ he said.
Following Monday’s release of the long-awaited FISA report on FBI abuses while investigating the Trump campaign, during the 2016 US election, Inspector General Michael Horowitz is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Horowitz’s report found „significant inaccuracies and omissions,“ yet despite the fact that the FBI’s elite made numerous errors and harbored extreme animus against Donald Trump, none of that affected their investigation.