Under the Patriot Act, a person does not have to be suspected of wrongdoing in order for the FBI to obtain their sensitive financial, communications or other personal records. Instead, FBI agents only have to state that the information they are seeking is "relevant" to a national security investigation. The letters are issued without prior court approval, and recipients are placed under a gag order that prevents them from telling anyone about the demand for records. Last year, the FBI issued 9,254 NSLs, according to the Justice Department
This is now. Later is later.