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FBI broke rules in probe into Keystone XL Pipeline opponents

Young tribal members took part in a protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline during President Barack Obama's visit to Watertown, South Dakota, on May 8, 2015. Photo from Indigenous Environmental Network / Facebook

The FBI broke internal rules in a probe into opponents of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Agents failed to secure permission from top officials in the Houston field office, the paper said, citing documents obtained from the FBI. The probe centered on a group called Tar Sands Blockade, which at one point was organizing anti-Keystone activity in Texas.

Agents kept tabs on the group for as long as eight months without permission, the paper reported. Approval was eventually secured for an investigation that lasted from November 2012 through June 2014.

“While the F.B.I. approval levels required by internal policy were not initially obtained, once discovered, corrective action was taken, noncompliance was remedied, and the oversight was properly reported through the F.B.I.’s internal oversight mechanism,” the agency told The New York Times. “At no time did the review find that the initial justification for the assessment was improper.”

Tribes and their members have been actively engaged in public protests against the project. They say the pipeline will harm treaty lands, water, sacred sites and the environment.

President Barack Obama will have final say over the permit for the pipeline.

Get the Story:
Revealed: FBI violated its own rules while spying on Keystone XL opponents (The Guardian 5/12)
F.B.I. Says It Broke Its Rules in Inquiry of Keystone Pipeline Opponents (The New York Times 5/13)

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