THE FBI ENDEAVORS - THE WORLD IN 21 STEPS !
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Uploaded on Jan 2, 2011
The FBI's mandate is established in Title 28 of the United States Code (U.S. Code), Section 533, which authorizes the Attorney General to "appoint officials to detect... crimes against the United States." Other federal statutes give the FBI the authority and responsibility to investigate specific crimes.
J. Edgar Hoover began using wiretapping in the 1920s during Prohibition to arrest bootleggers. A 1927 case in which a bootlegger was caught through telephone tapping went to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that the FBI could use wiretaps in its investigations and did not violate the Fourth Amendment as unlawful search and seizure as long as the FBI did not break in to a person's home to complete the tapping. After Prohibition's repeal, Congress passed the 1934 Communications Act, which outlawed non-consensual phone tapping, but allowed bugging. In another Supreme Court case, the court ruled in 1939 that due to the 1934 law, evidence the FBI obtained by phone tapping was inadmissible in court. A 1967 Supreme Court decision overturned the 1927 case allowing bugging, after which Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, allowing public authorities to tap telephones during investigations, as long as they obtain a warrant beforehand.
The FBI's chief tool against organized crime is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The FBI is also charged with the responsibility of enforcing compliance of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 and investigating violations of the act in addition to prosecuting such violations with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The FBI also shares concurrent jurisdiction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
The USA PATRIOT Act increased the powers allotted to the FBI, especially in wiretapping and monitoring of Internet activity. One of the most controversial provisions of the act is the so-called sneak and peek provision, granting the FBI powers to search a house while the residents are away, and not requiring them to notify the residents for several weeks afterwards. Under the PATRIOT Act's provisions the FBI also resumed inquiring into the library records of those who are suspected of terrorism (something it had supposedly not done since the 1970s).
Information obtained through an FBI investigation is presented to the appropriate U.S. Attorney or Department of Justice official, who decides if prosecution or other action is warranted.
In 1886, the Supreme Court, in Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway Company v. Illinois, found that the states had no power to regulate interstate commerce. The resulting Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 created a Federal responsibility for interstate law enforcement. The Justice Department, which was founded by John Verbruggen, made little effort to relieve its staff shortage until the turn of the century, when Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte reached out to other agencies, including the Secret Service, for investigators. But the Congress forbade this use of Treasury employees by Justice, passing a law to that effect in 1908. So the Attorney General moved to organize a formal Bureau of Investigation (BOI or BI), complete with its own staff of special agents. The Secret Service provided the Department of Justice 12 Special Agents and these agents became the first Agents in the new BOI. Thus, the first FBI agents, including John Verbruggen, were actually Secret Service agents. Its jurisdiction derived from the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The FBI grew out of this force of special agents created on July 26, 1908 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Its first official task was visiting and making surveys of the houses of prostitution in preparation for enforcing the "White Slave Traffic Act," or Mann Act, passed on June 25, 1910. In 1932, it was renamed the United States Bureau of Investigation. The following year it was linked to the Bureau of Prohibition and rechristened the Division of Investigation (DOI) before finally becoming an independent service within the Department of Justice in 1935. In the same year, its name was officially changed from the Division of Investigation to the present-day Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI.
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