Wednesday, April 2, 2008

ACLU: Dept. of Defense Using FBI To Spy On Citizens

Newly Unredacted Documents Confirm Lack Of Oversight Of Military's Domestic Surveillance Powers

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Records Released In ACLU's National Security Letters Lawsuit

NEW YORK - On the heels of an internal report criticizing the FBI for abusing its power to issue National Security Letters (NSLs), newly unredacted documents released today as a result of an American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit reveal that the Department of Defense (DoD) is using the FBI to circumvent legal limits on its own NSL power and may have overstepped its authority to obtain private and sensitive records of people within the United States without court approval. The previously withheld records also reveal that the military is secretly accessing these private records without providing training, guidance, or any real recordkeeping.

"It looks like the Defense Department is evading the legal limits placed on the military's surveillance powers by simply getting the FBI to do its bidding," said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "If the Defense Department is asking the FBI to get information it is not allowed to access on its own, there is a serious problem within both agencies. Clearly these agencies cannot police themselves - the time has come for less secrecy, stricter guidelines, and meaningful oversight to ensure that the NSL power is not abused anymore." Read On

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