More FBI Abuses of National Security Letters
It turns out that disclosures three years ago about the FBI's growing reliance on national security letters didn't put a stop to abuses of the secret investigative tool.
In 2005, The Post's Barton Gellman reported that with the impetus of the Patriot Act after 9/11, the FBI had been issuing more than 30,000 secret national security letters a year to sweep up personal and financial information about ordinary Americans as part of the bureau's terrorism investigations.
A subsequent audit by the Justice Department's inspector general confirmed that many letters from 2003 to 2005 were issued without following the rules or obtaining proper official authorization.
Today, FBI director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the breaches continued into 2006. He said they will be outlined in a new upcoming report by the inspector general.
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