Accession Number:

ADA512693

Title:

National Security Letters: Proposed Amendments in the 111th Congress

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-12-21

Pagination or Media Count:

38.0

Abstract:

Five federal statutes authorize various intelligence agencies to demand, through National Security Letters NSLs, certain customer information from communications providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies, under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the National Security Act, and Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The USA PATRIOT Act expanded NSL authority. Later reports of the Department of Justice Inspector General indicated that 1 the FBI considered the expanded authority very useful 2 after expansion the number of NSLs requests increased dramatically 3 the number of requests relating to Americans increased substantially and 4 FBI use of NSL authority had sometimes failed to comply with statutory, Attorney General, or FBI policies. Originally, the NSL statutes authorized nondisclosure requirements prohibiting recipients from disclosing receipt or the content of the NSL to anyone, ever. They now permit judicial review of these secrecy provisions. As understood by the courts, recipients may request the issuing agency to seek and justify to the court the continued binding effect of any secrecy requirement. Several USA PATRIOT Act provisions are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2009. The NSL statutory provisions are not among them. Nevertheless, several bills have been introduced which would amend and in some cases repeal NSL authority. The bills include 1 the National Security Letter Reform Act of 2009 H.R. 1800, introduced by Representative Nadler 2 the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 H.R. 3845, introduced by Representative Conyers and reported out by the House Judiciary Committee H.Rept. 111-382, Pt.1 3 the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools in Counterterrorism Efforts Act of 2009 JUSTICE Act

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE