Robyn Greene writes:
Last week served as yet another reminder of the threats posed to Americans’ privacy by the post-Patriot Act surveillance state. According to the Department of Justice’s annual report, FISA applications to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in 2012 revealed a continued increase in the FBI’s surveillance of Americans. The report covers the Bureau’s requests for electronic and physical surveillance, secret court orders under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and National Security Letters (NSLs).
Over the last four years, the government’s requests for electronic and physical surveillance have steadily increased after a brief decline in 2008 and 2009, with a total of 1,856 applications in 2012. However, the truly shocking number is how many times it applied for Section 215 orders, also known as business records requests, which as far as we know give the government extremely broad authority to access “any tangible thing,” including sensitive information such as financial records, medical records, and even library records.
Read more on ACLU’s Blog.
via Trevor Timm