FBI Still Lacks Translators To Interpret Wiretaps, E-Mail


The FBI's collection of wiretapped phone calls and intercepted e-mail has been soaring, but the bureau is failing to review “significant amounts” of material partly for lack of translators, says a Justice Department inspector general’s report quoted by the New York Times.

The government's ability to review and translate materials quickly has been an item of concern since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Two previous inspector general reports faulted the bureau for significant backlogs in reviewing information in other languages. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who has pressed the FBI to improve its translation abilities, praised the bureau for its recent arrest of several terrorism suspects inside the U.S. but said that its linguist department remained “a big hole.”

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