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FBI unlawfully spies on Americans using patriot act

FBI unlawfully spies on Americans using patriot act

by irleaksJune 5, 2012

Do you have a Facebook account?  Twitter Account?  Apple Account?  Microsoft Account?  Do you do anything online?  Then you are in the FBI’s database and being spied on!

the FBI uses the Patriot Act to get info on online users

Souces reveals that the FBI has requested private user data as many as 9,999,999 times per year to access user data.

In a nutshell, an NSL is a request from the FBI or other federal agencies conducting national security investigations. Agencies can play the NSL card to obtain a communication-service customer’s name, address, length of services, or local and long-distance toll billing records through NSLs.
The FBI is not required to get court approval to issue an NSL. NSL can’t be used in ordinary criminal, civil, or administrative matters. Additionally, FBI can’t use NSLs to obtain anything else from Google, such as Gmail content, search queries, YouTube videos, or user IP addresses, according to the company.
“The FBI has the authority to prohibit companies from talking about these requests. But we’ve been trying to find a way to provide more information about the NSLs we get — particularly as people have voiced concerns about the increase in their use since 9/11,” 
A Little History Lesson
NSLs have been around since the 1980s, but the types of records that they could access were narrow and the information had to be related to foreign intelligence cases. There were no penalties for failing to comply with the request and there wasn’t an enforcement mechanism. The Patriot Act expanded the circumstances under which NSLs could be used, resulting in an explosion of requests from the FBI.
This isn’t the first time the excessive use of NSLs by the FBI has been brought to the public’s attention. In January 2011, Twitter was ordered by federal prosecutors through a secret subpoena to hand over account data of the people involved with the WikiLeaks case. Twitter turned around and then challenged not only the subpoena, but the secrecy of it, and was granted the right to inform its users that their information was being requested by the government.
Nicholas Merrill, who was president of New York based Calyx Internet Access, received a NSL from the FBI in February 2004 demanding the records of one of his clients. He filed a lawsuit to challenge it and the demand was later dropped. Despite everything, Merrill was still under a gag order, prohibiting him from talking about the letter and the lawsuit in which he was involved in. After 6 years, Merrill was partially released from the gag order and was able to speak about the ordeal he was put through. However, he is still not allowed to publicly talk about the details of the letter he received.
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