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Judge Orders FBI to Release Abuse Records 56

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the watching-the-watchmen dept.
Spamicles writes "A judge has ordered the FBI to release agency records about its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect Americans' personal information. The ruling came just a day after the EFF urged the judge to immediately respond in its lawsuit over agency delays. This is the same case in which an internal FBI audit found that the bureau 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."
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Judge Orders FBI to Release Abuse Records

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  • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

    by bladesjester (774793) <slashdot@ja m e ... i n g shead.com> on Saturday June 16, 2007 @01:44PM (#19533439) Homepage Journal
    I'd say that qualifies more as cynicism than apathy. He's not saying he doesn't care, just that he doesn't think it's going to be actually followed through on.

    Given past practices, I have to say that I agree with that sentiment. I think the chances are good that the administration is just going to ignore the demands.
  • by MadMidnightBomber (894759) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @02:19PM (#19533839)
  • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

    by soren100 (63191) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @03:25PM (#19534429)

    I'm sure this'll get results. The current executive branch has been pretty respectful of legislative and judicial checks on its power thus far.


    While the above might seem like cynicism, but the truth is that the FBI has been abusing its power for a long, long, time.

    in 1971 the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI [wikipedia.org]raided an FBI office and published over 1000 classified FBI documents, revealing domestic political repression campaigns such as Operation [wikipedia.org] Cointelpro [whatreallyhappened.com] A year later the FBI officially terminated the program.

    The public outrage led to an official Congressional investigation of the FBI which gave a report in 1976 that had this [icdc.com] to say:

    "Americans are now aware of the capability and proven willingness of their Government to collect intelligence about their lawful activities and associations. What some suspected and others feared has turned out to be largely true -- vigorous expression of unpopular views, association with dissenting groups, participation in peaceful protest activities, have provoked both government surveillance and retaliation."
    Sound Familiar?

    The report goes on to say:

    "Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity. Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed...
    Remember, these are not "conspiracy theorists" talking -- this is an actual government report from 30 years ago documenting the behavior of the previous 40 years.

  • Re:Great! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bender0x7D1 (536254) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @09:00PM (#19536815)

    I believe that responsibility would then rest with the U.S. Marshals.

    From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    The USMS is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, protecting federal courts and ensuring the effective operation of the judicial system.
    and

    The United States Marshals Service also executes all lawful writs, processes, and orders issued under the authority of the United States, and shall command all necessary assistance to execute its duties.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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