FBI Subverted Law on Obtaining Phone Records, Post Reports

January 19, 2010
The Washington Post reported this morning that between 2002 and 2006 the FBI "illegally collected more than 2,000 telephone records ... by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews." The Post noted that a Justice Department inspector general report due this month is likely to conclude that the spy agency "frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed." TalkLeft has a detailed account of the newspaper's reporting on the illegally obtained phone records here.

The newspaper continued, "Documents show that senior FBI managers up to the assistant director level approved the procedures for emergency requests of phone records and that headquarters officials often made the requests, which persisted for two years after bureau lawyers raised concerns and an FBI official began pressing for changes."