From the AP via Common Dreams NewsCenter:
The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday. It was the first time the Bush administration has publicly disclosed how often it uses the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena. Friday's disclosure was mandated as part of the renewal of the Patriot Act, the administration's sweeping anti-terror law.
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