Good to see the FBI follows procedures
ekr at networkresonance.com
Thu Dec 20 15:30:47 EST 2007
Ryan Singel reports that despite the rather lax standards required for
wiretaps, some FBI agents seem to have decided that they could skip
The revelation is the second this year showing that FBI employees
bypassed court order requirements for phone records. In July, the
FBI and the Justice Department Inspector General revealed the
existence of a joint investigation into an FBI counter-terrorism
office, after an audit found that the Communications Analysis Unit
sent more than 700 fake emergency letters to phone companies
seeking call records. An Inspector General spokeswoman declined to
provide the status of that investigation, citing agency policy.
The June 2006 e-mail (.pdf) was buried in more than 600-pages of
FBI documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
The message was sent to an employee in the FBI's Operational
Technology Division by a technical surveillance specialist at the
FBI's Minneapolis field office -- both names were redacted from
the documents. The e-mail describes widespread attempts to bypass
court order requirements for cellphone data in the Minneapolis
Remarkably, when the technical agent began refusing to cooperate,
other agents began calling telephone carriers directly, posing as
the technical agent to get customer cellphone records.
Federal law prohibits phone companies from revealing customer
information unless given a court order, or in the case of an
emergency involving physical danger.
Singel's report is at:
You can read the actual document:
It's worth noting that a lot of what's going on here is device
and call tracking, not content capture, so even if you have end-to-end
crypto in your handset, it's only of modest value.
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