When the FBI gathers information on people residing in the United States, it can tap into reports originating from international spycraft.
This section of the policy guide states that the FBI can ask the CIA and NSA for information on a person’s background, finances, and friends, as part of an assessment, which the FBI can open to follow up on vague tips, broad intelligence questions, or even to evaluate someone as an informant. The specifics of these “name trace requests” were redacted from previously released versions of this policy guide.
Legal experts consulted by The Intercept raised concerns about the privacy implications of bringing CIA and NSA data to bear on domestic intelligence operations. While the FBI is ostensibly constrained by constitutional protections, name traces allow it to repurpose information that has been gathered outside of those affordances for due process and privacy.