[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

FBI Credit Search bill update (CPSR)

From the CPSR newsletter v.6 #6 Aug 12, 93


[a 2] FBI Seeks Power for Credit Search Without Warrant

In early July, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a provision
that allows for FBI access to credit reports using only a letter
instead of a judicial warrant in cases that they say involved national
security. There is concern that this will be subject to abuse and that
the necessity has not been proven.

A national security letter gives the FBI the authority to obtain
records without judicial approval and without providing notice to the
individual that his or her records have been obtained by the Bureau.
Similar FBI proposals were rejected in previous years after
Congressional leaders expressed concern over the civil liberties
issues raised.

Although the current draft proposal is more comprehensive than those
circulated in previous years, the changes and additions do not alter
significantly the central character of the proposal. The
Administration's 1993 proposal includes explicit limits to
dissemination of obtained information within the government, penalties
for violations including punitive damages, and reporting requirements.
These provisions are positive changes from the legislation put forward
in previous years, but they do not save the proposal from its
intrinsic flaws.