7,012. 3/15/2007

“Even without the warrantless [wiretapping] powers granted by President Bush, obtaining personal information has become much easier with the passage of the Patriot Act and the frequent use of ‘national security letters [NSL],’ which do not require probable cause or court approval. In 2000, the number of NSLs issued was 8,500, a large number. Between 2003 and 2005 the requests had skyrocketed to 143,074, according to a [March] 2007 Justice Department inspector general’s report. The audit found that 60 percent of a sample of these subpoenas were not in compliance with the rules, and another 22 percent contained unreported possible violations of the law, including improper requests and unauthorized collections of information.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – James Bamford, The Shadow Factory, Page 319

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