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 Post subject: FBI cast wide net when targeting phone records
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:24 am 
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FBI cast wide net when targeting phone records

I have yet to see any actual RESULT that indicates that terrorist attacks on US soil have been foiled by collecting "data" this way.

FBI demands to telecommunications companies went beyond requesting phone records of customers under suspicion to include analyses of their broader patterns of communication with others as well, newly obtained documents show.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation used national security letters to request information on the wider “community of interest” linked to individuals under suspicion, according to the documents.

The data-mining technique can lay bare phone and e-mail links that tie together otherwise indiscernible networks of individuals. Law enforcement officials value that sort of data as a means of identifying a suspect’s potential conspirators. Privacy advocates say it can ensnare people with no tie to illegal or suspicious activity.

The “community of interest” requests were included in more than 2,500 pages of FBI documents the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The New York Times first reported on the requests in a story posted to its Web site Saturday.


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