Federal agents get more leeway to investigate

The FBI: the Vault has a redacted but still interesting fact-filled guide on its website: FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG. It is undergoing a significant new change granting more power and less oversight to agents conducting the lowest category of investigations (termed an “assessment&rdquoWinking. Assessments allow agents to look into people and organizations without any evidence of criminal or terrorist activity.

Under current rules, agents must open such an inquiry before they can search for information about a person in a commercial or law enforcement database. Under the new rules, agents will be allowed to search databases without making a record.