Review of the FBI's Investigations of Certain Domestic Advocacy Groups   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this review in response to congressional inquiries that raised concerns over whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had improperly targeted domestic advocacy groups for investigation based solely upon their exercise of First Amendment rights. The congressional inquiries were prompted by media reports describing FBI documents released by the FBI pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. For example, in a letter to the OIG: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren stated that the circumstances described in the news reports 'suggest that the FBI is investigating these advocacy groups based solely on their engagement in peaceful, lawful speech and assembly activities protected under the [First] Amendment.' In a congressional hearing, Senator Patrick Leahy questioned FBI Director Mueller about allegations that the FBI had 'targeted Americans based on their exercise of First Amendment rights,' and Director Mueller stated that he would welcome such an investigation by the OIG. [...].Our review focused on FBI investigative activities and documents that related to the exercise of First Amendment rights, most commonly protest activities. [...].This report is divided into nine chapters. Chapter Two describes the relevant statutes, the Attorney Generals' Guidelines, and FBI policies governing the conduct of FBI investigations. Chapter Two also examines the predication requirements for certain investigative activities and the limitations or conditions on the FBI's use of investigative techniques that implicate First Amendment rights, including limitations on the collection or maintenance of records describing how an individual exercises his or her First Amendment rights. Chapter Nine summarizes our findings regarding the individual groups and sets forth our overall conclusions and recommendations."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General: http://www.justice.gov/oig/
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Listed on September 22, 2010 [Critical Releases]