Tech Firms Say FBI Wants Browsing History Without Warrant
Just how is this different — in principle — from the normal and old-fashioned investigation, where the investigator would talk to the suspect's friends, business-partners, grocery-suppliers, neighbors, and landlords? And, if the folks had any relevant records, ask to see them?
Sherlock Holmes would do that, Perry Mason would do that, Hercule Poirot would do that, Miss Marple would do that. Why can't the FBI — which law are they violating by the mere asking? There is no allegation in TFA of any illegal threats the agents have made against the companies for non-compliance or for demanding a warrant or some other approval from the Judiciary... What is the there there?
I'll bite - because this is compelled, not asked. An NSL *compels* information, and it also comes with a gag order. Neither of that is true of a cop asking. Now, in the case of a standard investigation, if they wanted to compel testimony or info they could get a warrant or a subpoena, as they can now for these records, but that requires a judge, not just a senior FBI agent, and typically never came with gag orders.