Despite pleas by law enforcement for increased illegal spying and surveillance powers, the FBI can’t point to any major terrorism cases cracked because of the unconstitutional snooping powers granted under the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz's report found that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk data collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, increasingly scooping up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.
Yet despite this increased invasion of privacy, which directly contravenes the constitution, the FBI came up with no leads.
“The agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders,” the inspector general concluded.
The shocking contrast between privacy invasion and lack of effectiveness highlights a general trend in law enforcement towards lazy policing. Police routinely circumvent the constitution instead of doing manual police work, arguing that the increased invasion is needed to catch bad guys. Yet no bad guys are actually caught by the constitutional intrusion and instead our police forces get lazy and weak.
The FBI declined to comment on the latest revelations.