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The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.
Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user's browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten
It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the "content" of e-mail or other Internet communication.
The use of the national security letters to obtain personal data on Americans has prompted concern. The Justice Department issued 192,500 national security letters from 2003 to 2006, according to a 2008 inspector general report, which did not indicate how many were demands for Internet records. A 2007 IG report found numerous possible violations of FBI regulations, including the issuance of NSLs without having an approved investigation to justify the request. In two cases, the report found, agents used NSLs to request content information "not permitted by the [surveillance] statute."
But the next clause specifies only four categories of basic subscriber data that the FBI may seek: name, address, length of service and toll billing records. There is no reference to electronic communication transactional records.
The officials said the transactional information at issue, which does not include Internet search queries, is the functional equivalent of telephone toll billing records, which the FBI can obtain without court authorization. Learning the e-mail addresses to which an Internet user sends messages, they said, is no different than obtaining a list of numbers called by a telephone user.
Originally posted by astrogolf
That means guys who own a gun, any one buying gold (notice the new MSM attack on gold?), tea partiers, and anyone else who takes exception to a kenyan-born muslim who is three quarters of the way through his communist revolution..