Monday, February 18, 2008

FBI Inadvertently Spying

The New York Times is reporting the FBI got access to an entire network's email accounts, instead of just the one which was approved by a "secret intelligence court". It was only after noticing a "surge" in activity did they notice the mistake and contact the ISP.

The incident came to light after an EFF FOIA request uncovered a document showing the "apparent miscommunication" resulted in the FBI receiving more than it asked for.

The NYT story goes on the note that this is just one of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of violations of federal wiretap law. An anonymous intelligence official says the incidents are "common".
Past violations by the government have also included continuing a wiretap for days or weeks beyond what was authorized by a court, or seeking records beyond what were authorized. The 2006 case appears to be a particularly egregious example of what intelligence officials refer to as "overproduction" — in which a telecommunications provider gives the government more data than it was ordered to provide.

via democracy now and zeropaid


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