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Administrative Subpoenas Are Unchecked and Abused, Critics Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agencies are increasingly using administrative subpoenas to force the release of information from virtually all businesses, a tactic that critics say strips the civil liberties of Americans, Wired reports.

The DEA, for example, can issue an administrative subpoena without a court warrant if the agent believes the information is relevant to the probe.

The subpoenas bypass the Fourth Amendment, which is designed to protect against unreasonable searches, according to Wired.

In a recent case, Golden Valley Electric Association lost its argument that it does not have to release customer records under an administrative subpoena.

Based on anecdotal evidence, Wired said there are hundreds of thousands of administrative subpoenas issued a year.


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