FBI lied to get ISPs to turn over data

Fake emergency letters

The Inquirer | July, 13 2007
By Nick Farrell

THE FBI'S counter terrorism unit sent a large number of fake emergency letters to phone companies, asking them to turn over phone records immediately.

According to Wired, the letters are part of a legitimate procedure which is supposed to be used so that the spooks can get access while the Feds are getting a warrant.

But it seems that the letters, signed by Larry Mefford,the Executive Assistant Director, in charge of the Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence Division, were faked and the department had no intention of getting a warrant.

More than 60 of the letters have been made found and made available by the Electronic Frontier Foundation,

It seems that the FBI have been ignoring guidelines about how they are supposed to be using these letters. Perhaps they were re-assured when Alberto Gonzales told a Congress that there was no way that the FBI would ever do anything like lie to ISPs.