In addition to the checking of leads, preliminary inquiries, and investigations as described in Parts I-III of these Guidelines, and counterterrorism activities as described in Part A above, the authorized law enforcement activities of the FBI include carrying out and retaining information resulting from the following activities:
- General Topical Research
The FBI is authorized to carry out general topical research, including conducting online searches and accessing online sites and forums as part of such research on the same terms and conditions as members of the public generally. "General topical research" under this paragraph means research concerning subject areas that are relevant for the purpose of facilitating or supporting the discharge of investigative responsibilities. It does not include online searches for information by individuals' names or other individual identifiers, except where such searches are incidental to topical research, such as searching to locate writings on a topic by searching under the names of authors who write on the topic, or searching by the name of a party to a case in conducting legal research.
- Use of Online Resources Generally
For the purpose of detecting or preventing terrorism or other criminal activities, the FBI is authorized to conduct online search activity and to access online sites and forums on the same terms and conditions as members of the public generally.
- Reports and Assessments
The FBI is authorized to prepare general reports and assessments concerning terrorism or other criminal activities for purposes of strategic planning or in support of investigative activities.
- Cooperation with Secret Service
The FBI is authorized to provide investigative assistance in support of the protective responsibilities of the Secret Service, provided that all preliminary inquiries or investigations are conducted in accordance with the provisions of these Guidelines.