FBI Could Get Greater Powers Under New Plan

    The reach of the FBI could get longer under a new Justice Department plan. Will it help? Does it go too far? In any event, it’s bound to cause controversy.

By Eric Lichtblau
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.

The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

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