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Subjects Matter: FBI Files

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From Abbie Hoffman to Malcolm X, Ol' Dirty Bastard to the Insane Clown Posse, FBI files read like a veritable Who's Who of the 20th Century. This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of agency archival material we've managed to get released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

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Iran-Contra, October Surprise and Reagan's Wrongs

A look into the wrongdoings of the Reagan administration and campaign, including the October Surprise, Debategate, MCA Records, the Inslaw and Wedtech scandals and the Iran-Contra scandal, which has been called Reagan's unchecked abuse of Presidential power.

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Inventorying the FBI

An project to take inventory of the FBI's files on different subjects in order to identify what the FBI has worked on and to help requesters know what files they can request.

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208 Articles

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The year before his murder, Malcolm X was under electronic surveillance by the FBI

The last section of Malcolm X’s 10,000 plus page FBI file concerns the Bureau’s electronic surveillance of the activist shortly before his death. For months, agents listened to X’s phone calls, photographed his comings and goings, and even considered bugging his Queens residence - only to hastily discontinue the operation for fear it would taint a potential conviction.

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The Undying Octopus: FBI and the PROMIS affair Part 2

As the FBI file show, the PROMIS case was not only far reaching, with ties to corruption, murder, and Iran-Contra, but purposely obstructed. While at least some allegations were confirmed by sources and documentation, others were blocked in their entirety - with critical evidence being lost and destroyed by both Congress and the FBI.

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The Undying Octopus: FBI and the PROMIS affair Part 1

The PROMIS affair, once labelled ‘the scandal that wouldn’t die,’ lives on according to a recent FBI FOIA response. The affair centered around the government’s theft of the PROMIS software, a forerunner to the infamous PRISM, and the far-reaching fallout which allegedly included everything from fraud, to covert operations and surveillance, to Danny Casolaro’s mysterious death, and remains the subject of an investigation decades after the Department of Justice declared the matter officially closed.

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Read the Justice Department’s guide to using psychics in police investigations

Police psychics have so saturated popular culture that the concept borders on the cliche. There was a time, however, when the Department of Justice took the matter very seriously - not only were instances reported of the police using psychics, there were studies on the matter, and even guidance issued by the DOJ.

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FBI struggled with “messaging challenges” surrounding its controversial counterterror program for teens

FBI officials fretted over critical press coverage of their interactive website and online game on violent extremism aimed at high school students and attempted to assuage concerns raised by civil liberties and Muslim organizations, according to documents released through a FOIA request.

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53 Requests

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Awaiting Appeal

161s 1995

M Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

2 Questions

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900 ISIS-related FBI inquiries
Are FOIA Appeals published in the Federal Register once they are rejected by the FBI/DOJ ?