The Big Brother Watch
John Solomon tells us today that the FBI, in an internal audit, found it had potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years. This article has generated a flood of mostly anti-administration comments. The majority of the violations occurred when telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the FBI did not request and were not authorized to collect, but the agents retained the information in their files.
StaggoLee suggested that, "We have passed the who cares point of domestic and foreign activities. People do decry such violations, but they continue and will continue well after the Bush administration leaves the WH. Even progressives no longer believe in anything..."
And Christian_in_NYC asked, " Don't you feel safer knowing that FBI is out there, illegally gathering information on all those terrorists who you foolishly call your "neighbors". Yes, America is much, much safer since 9/11..."
ca2va1 calls the whole thing "Much ado about nothing. FBI asks for records from Jan 1 to March 31, for example. The phone company billing cycle ends mid-month. So they send the FBI records from Dec 15 to April 15 to make sure they cover the proper period. FBI and phone company need to get on same page, that's all..."
jimarush addressed the role that the phone companies and e-mail providers might have played in this by saying that "The American people outed improperly by their phone and email provider should be informed so that they can change providers and seek legal redress. It is inexcusable to provide information that is of a personal nature to the government or any other entity...I wonder if this information was used politically. What the heck is going on?"
rwbiles1 is not happy with the way the article was constructed, saying, "The line that says 'FBI officials said the audit found no evidence to date that any agent knowingly or willingly violated the laws or that supervisors encouraged such violations' says it all. Put this at the front...so we readers know you are just trying to make news, not report it."
But jstonewp wrote that "It becomes all too clear, day after day, that Bush, Cheney and this administration endanger our liberties more than al Qaida ever did or ever could."
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