Daily Revolt

October 15, 2007

ACLU: FBI, Pentagon Misusing Secret Info Requests

We are losing our freedoms without a fight, and will probably find out when its too late. The founders of this country are turning in their graves:
The Pentagon has misled Congress and the US public by conniving with the FBI to obtain hundreds of financial, telephone and Internet records without court approval, civil-rights campaigners said Sunday.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has successfully challenged key planks of US anti-terrorism legislation, said it had uncovered 455 "National Security Letters" (NSLs) issued at the behest of the Department of Defense.

Before the ACLU's challenge, the USA Patriot Act had allowed the FBI to issue gag orders to prevent those receiving NSLs -- usually Internet service providers, banks and libraries -- from disclosing anything about the request.

Beyond the gag orders, the ACLU said its analysis of the letters showed the Pentagon and FBI had collaborated "to circumvent the law" and "provided misleading information to Congress" about the nature and reach of the requests.

"Once again, the Bush administration's unchecked authority has led to abuse and civil liberties violations," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said.

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