Can this possibly be a surprise to anyone? This kind of abuse is one of
the reasons that I and many others have been against ANY government
entity having this kind of power. I fully expected the FBI and other
agencies to use powers granted by the Homeland Security Act and the
Patriot act to bully information out of banks, telephone companies,
ISP’s and just about anything that would have information about somebody.

That’s the problem with sweeping powers like this, the FBI (or other
agency) can just walk in and demand whatever information they want
without anything even resembling a warrant and because these powers also
allow said agency to tell the people they’re demanding information from
that they’re not even allowed to tell anyone … and that doing so can
land them in jail. (I wouldn’t be surprised if this included thinly
veiled threats about an all expenses paid one-way trip to Gitmo.)

FBI
obtained records ‘illegally’

The FBI illegally or improperly obtained information on the US
public, a new justice department report says.

It said most of the errors were through poor record-keeping or
agent mistakes rather than criminal misconduct.

This part I don’t buy for a second. I have no doubt that the primary
record keeping or agent mistakes involved are whatever factors allowed
this whole thing to land in the news. There are probably some genuine
errors and mistakes, but I’m sure most of it was plain old fashioned
taking advantage of Joe and Jane public generally being pretty
intimidated by government agents with an attitude.

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