Administration Inappropriately Uses National Security Letters

March 9, 2007
The Department of Justice's Inspector General released a report today on the Administration's inappropriate use of National Security Letters. The Associated Press reports:

The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday.

And for three years the FBI underreported to Congress how often it forced businesses to turn over the customer data, the audit found.

Speaker Pelosi released this statement, pledging that Congress will investigate further:

On the heels of the inappropriate firings of eight U.S. Attorneys, the Inspector General's report reveals yet another pattern of questionable behavior by the Justice Department. The Bush Administration's failure to follow minimal procedures and accurate reporting in its use of National Security Letters is disturbing but not surprising.

The Administration and the prior Republican Congress have been delinquent in oversight of the National Security Letters to ensure that their use did not violate the privacy and the civil liberties of thousands of Americans. As we protect and defend the American people, we must protect and defend the Constitution and the civil liberties it contains. The Democratic Congress will meet that obligation, and we will begin by investigating the disturbing facts reported today.

Click here to read the IG report: A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Use of National Security Letters.