FBI Errs in Security Probes

The FBI may have violated laws or FBI regulations more than 1,000 times when collecting national security data about domestic phone calls, e-mail and financial transactions, an internal audit found.

Most violations occurred when phone companies or Internet providers gave agents more information than requested. But in two dozen cases, the agents requested information not permitted by law, the Washington Post reports.

The data was collected without a judge’s approval through use of national security letters, which permit agents to seek certain records by certifying they are sought for or relevant to investigations that “protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

The audit covered 10 percent of FBI national security investigations since 2002.

In response to the report, according to the Associated Press, the FBI issued new guidelines yesterday requiring agents to review personal data collected in such investigations before it is uploaded to an FBI database.

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