The FBI's Experiments in Self-Supervision


Yesterday FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee the bureau's agents continued to improperly use the administrative subpoenas known as national security letters to demand personal information about Americans from financial institutions, credit bureaus, Internet service providers, and phone companies through 2006. A March 2007 report by the Justice Department's inspector general, covering 2003 through 2005, revealed that agents were unlilaterally issuing NSLs in nonemergency situations without getting the required clearance from their superiors. Mueller was offering a preview of an upcoming inspector general's report with similar findings about 2006. But all of that "predates the reforms we now have in place," Mueller said. Evidently the FBI now has a rule that says agents have to follow the rules.

A PDF of the 2007 I.G. report is available here.