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The FBI is drowning in data, according to ACLU report

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The NSA has drawn most of the attention from privacy advocates, but a new ACLU report shines a light on their domestic counterparts in the FBI. Examining the bureau's history since 9/11, the report alleges that "throughout its history, the FBI has regularly overstepped the law, infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights while overzealously pursuing its domestic security mission."

While recent leaks have revealed a surge of FBI data collection, the report shows sifting through that mass of data has often distracted the bureau from more pressing issues. After the Fort Hood shooting, for instance, one FBI report said that "the exponential growth in the amount of electronically stored information is a critical challenge to the FBI," and blamed the analysis workload for pulling officers off more crucial elements of the case. The ACLU report also singles out the bureau for a culture of secrecy that exacerbates these problems. While the FBI prosecutes whistleblowers elsewhere in the government, the bureau is exempt from the federal Whistleblower Protection Act. As a result, 28 percent of non-supervisory employees said they never reported the misconduct they witnessed on the job.