SourceThe FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.
E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats.
FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said in an interview Monday that the FBI technically violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act when agents invoked nonexistent emergencies to collect records.
Among those whose phone records were searched improperly were journalists for The Washington Post and the New York Times, according to interviews with government officials.
If the FBI wants to request phone records, they have to issue a National Security Letter (NSL) that specifies which terrorism investigation the phone records pertain to. Eventually the procedure evolved to where they were getting phone records before issuing an NSL, and then the NSL was never issued at all.
Terrorists can only win if they can get the USA to beat its own self. This is an example of that.