Secrecy News

Guidelines on FBI Confidential Sources

Late last year the Attorney General approved revised guidelines for the use of confidential informants by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (pdf).

The guidelines require that confidential human sources be subjected to a new validation process to help ensure that their information is reliable.

The guidelines also generally require that the FBI and prosecutors inform responsible law enforcement authorities if they discover that an FBI source is engaged in “unauthorized criminal activity.”

“The FBI does not have any authority to make any promise or commitment that would prevent the government from prosecuting a Confidential Human Source for criminal activity that is not authorized…..”

See “Attorney General Guidelines Regarding the Use of FBI Confidential Human Sources,” approved December 13, 2006.

The Guidelines were included in voluminous FBI answers to questions for the record of a recently published Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “FBI Oversight,” December 6, 2006 (14 MB PDF file).