An FBI database storing facial images for digital recognition purposes is on track to have 52 million images in it by next year, show bureau documents obtained through a lawsuit.
Senate appropriators supported President Obama's Justice Department topline budget request for next fiscal year, saying efforts to reduce the federal prison population and cracking down on drug trade must continue with the appropriate funding.
"We believe that a dispute of this significance, which lasted over a period of many months, is a cause for serious concern, and it should never have been allowed to affect the operations" of the center, the report says.
A misspelling of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's last name and entry of an incorrect birthdate into a federal database contributed to the future Boston Marathon bomber easily passing through U.S. airport security when on a 2012 trip to Caucasus region.
The FBI allows its agents too much time to place individuals on the terrorist watchlist, the Justice Department office of inspector general says. In a partly redacted March 25 report (.pdf), auditors say the three-plus weeks that the process can take is "unnecessarily long" and "could easily be shortened."
The FBI plans to hire 1,000 agents and analysts by October to replace employees lost to attrition during the hiring freeze instituted under sequestration. But just because the FBI has the funds to hire doesn't mean it can attract the workforce it needs. The FBI director said the bureau's struggles to fill cybersecurity positions remain a significant issue.
"We write today to encourage Congress to create a Church Committee for the 21st Century – a special investigatory committee to undertake a thorough, and public, examination of current intelligence community practices affecting the rights of Americans," says the March 17 letter, signed by 15 former Church Committee staffers, including the chief counsel.
Details so far on a proposed "federal cyber campus" contained within the White House budget proposal are scarce, beyond a few offhand references.
Technology has allowed law enforcement and intelligence to expand surveillance not just because it has lowered costs but because they encounter less resistance from judges and companies, Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union said.
A former Stanford University doctoral student spent nearly a decade on the no-fly list because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form, inadvertently nominating her for the list. Although partly redacted, the ruling reveals that an FBI agent "misunderstood the directions on the form and erroneously nominated Dr. Ibrahim to the TSA's no-fly list."