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New Rules Would Allow FBI Agents to Expand Investigative Methods

The Department of Justice is considering new rules which would give the FBI more tools to investigate crimes and gather intelligence about suspected criminals and other persons of interest. The rules governing the FBI were expanded after 9/11, and these new rules would provide the FBI with additional investigative tools.

Some of the additional methods the FBI could employ to investigate crimes include: conducting surveillance in public, using confidential informants to obtain information and evidence, questioning criminal suspects and others without identifying themselves as FBI agents and conducting expanded threat assessments based on less evidence than would be required for a formal investigation. Currently, FBI agents can only conduct interviews after they identify themselves, which FBI agents argue makes it more difficult to obtain the information they need. Critics of the expanded tools for the FBI are concerned that the expanded threat assessments would be based on factors like ethnicity and race and that the new rules would give the FBI too much leeway in gathering information about U.S. residents.