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More FBI Abuses of National Security Letters

POSTED: 01:30 PM ET, 03/ 5/2008 by The Editors

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.

By The Editors |  March 5, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
Previous: Tax Break | Next: Coming Soon: "Forced Out"

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i dont think its right for the FBI to do this, they should conisider our privacy yeah i get their trying to keep us safe but that doesnt justify it.

Posted by: Angelica | March 5, 2008 3:12 PM

Hasn't the FBI ever heard the words "meta data"? They pay an arm and a leg for proprietary software so they can control the data definitions. The only result is that "an arm and a leg" is something NIH knows not, and certainly not:"arm"[MeSH Term], "leg"[MeSH Term].

Of course when the FBI does collect too much meta data, they have no way to throw it out, because it only means something to them.

Posted by: GTexas | March 5, 2008 4:48 PM

"without following the rules" has been the motto of this Administration. If I were, John McCain, I wouldn't want an endorsement from a spoiled little marionette of a President who never had to learn how to play fair.

What does Bush's endorsement tell us about McCain? More of the same?

Posted by: Roy | March 5, 2008 4:56 PM

If the National Security Letters were issued on false premises, and privacy of Americans was violated, I guess the FBI staff who did it are in for major penalties and prison time.

Just kidding.

Posted by: Ed | March 5, 2008 5:35 PM

The wheel goes around and around and eventually the FBI becomes O-U-T-L-A-W-S.

Let's put 'em on the Most Wanted List and when we catch the culprits we'll lynch 'em and then ask them to give us their defence.

What could be fairer than that?

Posted by: Robert James | March 5, 2008 9:40 PM

Remember the $600 toilet seats from some years back? There is a certain level of pure incompetence inherent in the government, in the managers and the managers-of-managers.

There are also people willing and able to take advantage of the cracks in the system, to aid their friends, their party, their holy causes, or just for money ... who knows why?

If there's nobody watching the store, the employees will rob it blind. They will sell your private data to "the wrong" people, they will blackmail you with threats to report you to the police.

Never Trust The Government. Why have the conservatives forgotten this?

Posted by: tseats | March 5, 2008 9:57 PM

Ask the people of berkshire hathaway if there the brains behind berkshire farms youth camps?If so someone needs to take a good hard look at there staff.Ex navy,marines,air force,army.Stalkers NFL flunkys that have girls throw other peoples kids in garbage cans.Ask mereidth via air plane on the today show in ny.She and her friends or its friends i should say caused this mess.What she protecting oj simpson's look alike mark mcgawon the person that kidnapped my kids?Mr keith lang trying to cover there buddies rear ends tim bartella of oneida ltd.The griffiss air force base drug shippers that kill sheriff's and there deputy's.Ask the elliss family if they've smoked any pot with any preschoolers like me?Print this in a up state ny paper.We couldn't have a wife or kids peter elliss,and the finsters and follyes,and olsteens needed them for there suragget mommys.Just there breeders,then when there done with them they just take them out and crash them into trees other cars etc for insurance money?That breaking the law?Im just a narc.To bad I worked for the da's office in oneida county for 5 years.Had a girlfriend get shot by a utica cop she was a sheriffs deputy.Don't go to bob bolert office they'll tell you what do you want me to do about it? Duane Lake

Posted by: Duane Lake | April 18, 2008 3:52 PM

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