The FBI's data mining program took a mile when it was given an inch. Film at eleven.

A number of lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation have confirmed what people have been saying since the get-go, which is that the FBI's telecommunications data mining program went far beyond what it was supposed to (login/password required, bugmenot.com will hook you up). It's well known and documented that the US government's been leaning on telecommunication companies all across the country (and a few rolled over and bared their throats without even being ordered) to provide them with lists of names and numbers of their customers so that who called whom …

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National Security Letters found unconstitutional last week.

Last calendar week something unusual happened in the US court system: The sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that made it far easier to get National Security Letters were declared unconstitutional (specifically, they violate the First Amendment rights of US citizens) by federal Judge Victor Marrero. National Security Letters, or NSLs, are official documents written up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which can be used to demand sensitive information, such as personnel dossiers, telephone or Internet usage information, and financial history information without having to go on the record by requesting a search warrant from the court system. These …

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