Warrantless Surreptitious Entries: FBI 'Black Bag' Break-ins and Microphone Installations [open pdf - 83KB]
This document examines the legal context of warrantless surreptitious entries. Operational procedure, authorization, and targeting, Counterintelligence and Domestic Subversives, FBI Policy and the Question of Authorization outside the Bureau, and Presidential and Attorney General Authorization are discussed. "Since 1948 the FBI has conducted hundreds of warrantless surreptitious entries to gather domestic and foreign intelligence, despite the questionable legality of the technique and its deep intrusion into the privacy of targeted individuals. Before 1966, the FBI conducted over two hundred 'black bag jobs.' These warrantless surreptitious entries were carried out for intelligence purposes other than microphone installation, such as physical search and photographing or seizing documents. Since 1960, more than five hundred warrantless surreptitious microphone installations against intelligence and internal security targets have been conducted by the FBI, a technique which the Justice Department still permits. Almost as many surreptitious entries were conducted in the same period against targets of criminal investigations."
Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans - Book III (1976)