Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obama Gives FBI The Right To Spy On Everyone

The Fourth Amendment Is Out The Window

U.S. President Obama secretly gave the FBI the right to spy on all Americans and foreigners alike, via legislation he signed two weeks ago. Said legislation flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution, particularly the Fourth Amendment.

Obama Quietly Issues Ruling Saying It's Legal For The FBI To Break The Law On Accessing Phone Records

from the and-it-gets-worse dept - Following the report earlier this week that the FBI regularly broke the ECPA law, in obtaining information from telcos without going through the proper process (and, in some cases using just a post it note!), some interesting details from the full report have come to light. The two key ones? First, "the Obama administration issued a secret rule almost two weeks ago saying it was legal for the FBI to have skirted federal privacy protections." And, second, the original idea to use these bogus "exigent letters" didn't come from the FBI, but from an AT&T employee. We noted in the original report that no one seemed to be placing any blame on the telcos for allowing this, and why they're clearly abusing the law, in giving out such info without the proper rules being followed, seems like a big question:

The telecom employees were supposed to be responding to National Security Letters, which are essentially FBI-issued subpoenas. But those Patriot Act powers say the target must be part of an open investigation and that a supervisor has to approve it. While they require some paperwork, FBI agents have been issuing about 40,000 such NSLs a year...