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FBI Made Mistakes in Thousands of Ultra-Secretive Spy Orders

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By    |   Friday, 02 Dec 2016 10:43 AM

A legal blunder has forced the FBI to clarify thousands of ultra-secretive spy orders.

The International Business Times reports that for over 10 years the FBI has been issuing secret notices to communications providers requesting information about users suspected of crimes.

According to the Business Times, the notices are called National Security Letters and come with a gag order. The letters do not need to be approved by a judge.

But now the FBI is said to be re-issuing thousands of the letters, according to the website. It reportedly failed to inform recipients about changes in the law surrounding how to challenge the notices.

The problem came to light when the Internet Archive received a NSL in August and discovered it contained misinformation about contesting the order, the Business Times reports.

The FBI letter had noted the Archive had the right to make an annual challenge regarding the nondisclosure requirement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement.

But the EFF, which helped challenge the Archive's notice, said Congress updated the law in 2015 allowing for more than one request per year.

"The free flow of information is at the heart of the Internet Archive's work, but by using national security letters in conjunction with unconstitutional gag orders, the FBI is trying to keep us all in the dark," said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive.

The EFF added that "as a result of the Archive's challenge to the letter, the FBI has agreed to send clarifications about the law to potentially thousands of communications providers who have received NSLs in the last year and a half."

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A legal blunder has forced the FBI to clarify thousands of ultra-secretive spy orders.
FBI, mistakes, thousands, spy, orders
271
2016-43-02
Friday, 02 Dec 2016 10:43 AM
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