Thursday, March 13, 2008

Report: FBI Misused National Security Letters

A report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) focusing on FBI investigations in 2006 found many privacy violations by the FBI in their use of National Security Letters (NSLs). NSLs are FBI letters requesting private customer information from businesses and banks without court approval and preventing those who receive NSLs from discussing them. Some of the problems found included improper requests, NSLs issued without proper authorization, and the unauthorized collection of personal data.

The full report, A Review of the FBI’s Use of National Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006, is available from the OIG. The findings are similar to the findings from a 2007 report from OIG report that found the FBI had used NSLs to improperly obtain personal data from 2003-2005.

The FBI was granted expanded powers (including NSLs) after September 11th, by the USA Patriot Act. Find more information on the 2001 USA Patriot Act (H.R.3162) and the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R.3199) from Thomas. Or if you are here on campus, search LexisNexis Congressional for additional reports and hearing.

Read Report: FBI Misused Information-Gathering Powers from the Washington Post, FBI Improperly Obtained Data on Americans, Justice Department Report Says from FOX News, and Report: FBI abuse of investigative tool continued in 2006 from CNN.

Want more information? Check out the library's guide on the War Against Terrorism.

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