Thursday, November 15, 2007

FBI's Top Lawyer Defends Data-Dragnet Powers

Declan McCullagh writes on C|Net's "Iconoclast" Blog:

The FBI's top lawyer defended the Patriot Act on Wednesday, saying the bureau's increased powers are vital to aiding investigations into attacks such as the London subway bombing.

FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said during a conference at New York University's law school that the 2001 changes to the Patriot Act involving national security letters (NSLs) were crucial to accessing phone records. NSLs are subpoena-like orders that the FBI can use to obtain information about companies' customers.

Caproni, a former federal prosecutor who took her current position in 2003, said that after the July 2005 subway bombings in London--which killed dozens of commuters and injured hundreds more--the British security service gave the United States "lots" of phone numbers called by the suspected perpetrators.

More here.


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