ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Expanded Military Role in National Security Letters
The ACLU has obtained a new set of documents showing the military's expanded role since the passage of the Patriot Act in obtaining national security letters.
New documents uncovered as a result of an American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit reveal that the Department of Defense secretly issued hundreds of national security letters (NSLs) to obtain private and sensitive records of people within the United States without court approval. A comprehensive analysis of 455 NSLs issued after 9/11 shows that the Defense Department seems to have collaborated with the FBI to circumvent the law, may have overstepped its legal authority to obtain financial and credit records, provided misleading information to Congress, and silenced NSL recipients from speaking out about the records requests, according to the ACLU.
The new documents are available here. Many are blacked out (redacted.) The documents include e-mail correspondence between DOD officials responding to the disclosure of the NSL's in the New York Times. I've extracted one e-mail here (pdf).
- DOD memo (pdf)on its authority to issue NSL letters apart from the FBI
- DOD Guidance (pdf)on obtaining information from financial institutions
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