An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has quietly revised its privacy rules for searching data involving Americans' international communications that was collected by the NSA, U.S. officials have confirmed to the Guardian. The classified revisions were accepted by the secret U.S. court that governs surveillance, during its annual recertification of the agencies' broad surveillance powers. The new rules affect a set of powers colloquially known as Section 702, the portion of the law that authorizes the NSA's sweeping "Prism" program to collect internet data. Section 702 falls under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and is a provision set to expire later this year. A government civil liberties watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, alluded to the change in its recent overview of ongoing surveillance practices. The PCLOB's new compliance report, released last month, found that the administration has submitted "revised FBI minimization procedures" that address at least some of the group's concerns about "many" FBI agents who use NSA-gathered data. Sharon Bradford Franklin, a spokesperson for the PCLOB, said the rule changes move to enhance privacy. She could not say when the rules actually changed -- that, too, is classified. Last February, a compliance audit alluded to imminent changes to the FBI's freedom to search the data for Americans' identifying information. "FBI's minimization procedures will be updated to more clearly reflect the FBI's standard for conducting U.S. person queries and to require additional supervisory approval to access query results in certain circumstances," the review stated. The reference to "supervisory approval" suggests the FBI may not require court approval for their searches -- unlike the new system Congress enacted last year for NSA or FBI acquisition of U.S. phone metadata in terrorism or espionage cases.
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