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Government United States

FBI Issued 19,000 National Security Letters In 2013 61

Trailrunner7 writes The United States federal government issued more than 19,000 National Security Letters – perhaps its most powerful tool for domestic intelligence collection – in 2013, and those NSLs contained more than 38,000 individual requests for information. The new data was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday as part of its effort to comply with a directive from President Obama to declassify and release as much information as possible about a variety of tools that the government uses to collect intelligence. The directive came in the immediate aftermath of the first revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency's capabilities, methods and use of legal authorities.

The use of NSLs is far from new, dating back several decades. But their use was expanded greatly after 9/11 and NSLs are different from other tools in a number of ways, perhaps most importantly in the fact that recipients typically are prohibited from even disclosing the fact that they received an NSL. Successfully fighting an NSL is a rare thing, and privacy advocates have been after the government for years to release data on their use of the letters and the number of NSLs issued. Now, the ODNI is putting some of that information into the public record."
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FBI Issued 19,000 National Security Letters In 2013

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:35PM (#47337173)

    Secret warrants you can't challenge are the same as not needing one at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:50PM (#47337291)

    19,000? Sounds like they're not doing a very good job securing our nation if they need that many, because it's proof that either we have terrorists on every street corner or they don't know what they're doing and therefore don't know where the terrorists are.

    Before anybody replies, yes, I know what this is really proof of unfortunately.

  • Civil Disobedience (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:57PM (#47337349)

    If ever there was a time for massive civil disobedience, this is it. Organized, unified disclosure of NSL's would make clear that we refuse to be subjected to the tools of a totalitarian state. Regards, Anonymous Coward :|

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @08:02PM (#47337757)

    Everyone should know with absolute certainty that there are NOT 19,000 investigations of terrorism or threats to national security going on. This is evident proof that National security letters are not being used for national security.

    The powers of the FBI and other federal law enforcement should be curtailed, NSL's are ripe for abuse of power.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @08:24PM (#47337871)

    because your a liberal? LOL seriously. With all thats going on with the IRS, all the crap directed constantly at the right, ( and the truely far left), ie, anyone who DOESN'T support obama.....and you think you as a LIBERAL are the one being watched? How about the "homeland security" shutting down anti-obama protests. PEACEFUL rallies. How about anyone who didn't like obama, on the right AND left, but still mostly on the right being harassed by the IRS so they couldn't effect the vote. And the best, magic crashing hard drive of 7 people....all COMPLETELY unrecoverable of course, and inexplicably not sent to the offsite backups. Cuz we being IT professionals know how likely that is....My god man. If you voted for obama like the rest of the idiots who didn't want to seem racist, you are GOLDEN.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @08:59PM (#47338075)

    Yeah, a lot of people hoped for change and they got it; things are now even worse.

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @10:52PM (#47338527) Homepage Journal

    The political issues concerning the border are just there to distract people like you from the actual reasons we have so many illegal immigrants, which is because the people in power want them employed here. The attention is focused on the border, and not on the number who entered legally but overstayed their visas, and definitely not on the fact that we only pretend to punish the actual source of illegal immigration, the people who employ them, intentionally and because they are cheap labor.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.