INVESTIGATION: Meet the Spies Doing the NSA’s Dirty Work - This obscure FBI unit does the domestic surveillance that no other intelligence agency can touch.
INVESTIGATION Meet the Spies Doing the NSA’s Dirty Work This obscure FBI unit does the domestic surveillance that no other intelligence agency can touch. BY SHANE HARRIS NOVEMBER 21, 2013 SHANE.HARRIS @SHANEHARRIS With every fresh leak, the world learns more about the U.S. National Security Agency’s massive and controversial surveillance apparatus. Lost in the commotion has been the story of the NSA’s indispensable partner in its global spying operations: an obscure, clandestine unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that, even for a surveillance agency, keeps a low profile. When the media and members of Congress say the NSA spies on Americans, what they really mean is that the FBI helps the NSA do it, providing a technical and legal infrastructure that permits the NSA, which by law collects foreign intelligence, to operate on U.S. soil. It’s the FBI, a domestic U.S. law enforcement agency, that collects digital information from at least nine American tec