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Current Events

Domestic Spying Revisited

10.15.13 | Comment?

The other day I wrote that I had reached outrage fatigue, but I still have a number of articles I’ve been saving in my RSS feed. This is another one, which illustrates why we shouldn’t take government privacy assurances at face value. This story comes from a journalist, who quoted “high officials” about a politically sensitive story about foreign soldiers killing teachers.

Under DOJ rules, the FBI investigators were required to ask the Attorney General to approve a grand jury subpoena before requesting records of reporters’ calls. But that’s not what happened.

Instead, the bureau sent Company A what is known as an “exigent letter’’ asking for the metadata.

The report disclosed that the agents’ use of the exigent letter was choreographed by the company and the bureau. It said the FBI agent drafting the letter received “guidance” from “a Company A analyst.’’  According to the report, lawyers for Company A and the bureau worked together to develop the approach.

It sounds to me as if the feds follow the rule of law only as long as it’s not too inconvenient. Incidents like this fly in the face of all those privacy safeguards they talk about.

via How a Telecom Helped the Government Spy on Me – ProPublica.

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