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Tag: national security letter

FBI Wants to Bypass Warrants to Access Internet Browser Histories of Terrorism, Spy Suspects

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI wants the authority to access Internet browser histories and other electronic data of terrorism and spy cases without a warrant.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration supported a similar measure six years ago but abandoned the idea amid concerns from privacy advocates and the tech industry.

Some lawmakers support the effort and are encouraging colleagues to approve legislation that would enable the FBI to obtain “electronic communication transactional records” using a national security letter, which can be issued by the special agent in charge of the bureau field office.

FBI Director James Comey characterized the effort as the biggest legislative priority of the year.

Not having the authority to authorize national security letters “affects our work in a very, very big and practical way,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in February.

Google Challenges FBI’s Secretive National Security Letters, Saying They Violate Free Speech Rights

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Google is fed up with the FBI snooping on its users without a warrant.

Now, the company appears to be challenging so-called national security letters, which do not require a warrant to gather electronic information, reports CNet.com.

The judge hearing the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco, ruled last month that the national security letters “violate the First Amendment and separation of powers principle” CNet.com reported. But the Justice Department has 90s day to appeal.

Google: FBI Is Spying on Internet Users with So-Called National Security Letters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been demanding that Google divulge account information of up to thousands of its users to authorities without warrants, Wired.com reports.

Google revealed it has received numerous National Security Letters from the FBI since 2009.

Those letters, which the FBI has abused in the past, are written demands to compel internet service providers and others to divulge confidential information about their customers, Wired wrote.

Google is far from the only one receiving the letters. According to Wired, the FBI issued more than 16,500 National Security Letters in 2011.

The letters do not require court approval, and companies that receive them are prohibited from discussing them.

Communication Companies Less Compliant to FBI Requests