CNN wrote:Audit shows FBI snooping underreported
• Demands for private information may have been underreported by 20 percent
• FBI was "sloppy when it should have been diligent," one official says
• Attorney general orders FBI to clean up process
• Patriot Act, passed after 9/11, allows warrantless searches of records
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI failed to report accurately how many people it snooped on using anti-terror measures, a government audit revealed Friday.
Demands for banks and phone companies to hand over people's private information without telling them may also have gone beyond what is allowed by the Patriot Act, the report showed.
The audit shows the FBI "was sloppy when it should have been diligent", one official with early access to the report said, and a statement from the Justice Department said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had told the FBI "these past mistakes will not be tolerated."
Officials say the report found the FBI underreported the use of national security letters by 20 percent.
The letters tell institutions to hand over personal and business information about individuals. The targets of the investigations are not informed, unlike court-ordered subpoenas.
One official who saw the audit said it describes finding "errors in the process, not gross violations of the law." He said it seemed to him to be a "failure in the oversight process to keep up with an increase in the volume of NSLs," or national security letters.
In a statement released late Thursday, Justice Department spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said Gonzales was unhappy with the problems uncovered in the audit and was implementing changes.
"He has told the director that these past mistakes will not be tolerated and has ordered the FBI and the [Justice] Department to restore accountability and to put in place safeguards to ensure greater oversight and controls over the use of national security letters," Scolinos said in the statement
The Patriot Act was passed after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The White House, Justice Department and the FBI have called it a vital tool in the battle against terrorism, but critics have said the act infringes on civil liberties.
Well i am guessing not too many people will be surprised by this one.