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FBI Says Paper Trails Are Optional 244

WerewolfOfVulcan writes "According to this Washington Post article, the FBI says that it doesn't have to comply with even the unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act when asking for phone records. Apparently that whole due process thing doesn't include them. Funny thing is, they've apparently already been doing it for years." Quoting: "Under past procedures, agents sent 'exigent circumstances letters' to phone companies, seeking toll records by asserting there was an emergency. Then they were expected to issue a grand jury subpoena or a 'national security letter,' which legally authorized the collection after the fact. Agents often did not follow up with that paperwork, the inspector general's investigation found. The new instructions tell agents there is no need to follow up with national security letters or subpoenas. The agents are also told that... they may make requests orally, with no paperwork sent to phone companies. Such oral requests have been made over the years in terrorism and kidnapping cases, officials said."

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