Typos also allowed the underwear bomber to catch a flight to the US.
Via Daily Mail
The FBI spied on citizens who were not the subject of investigation because of typographical errors, according to a government watchdog.
The Justice Department’s inspector general has found that while the FBI has improved handling of national security letters, the agency could do better.
The watchdog identified several areas that the FBI needs to improve upon, including the ‘tendency to collect data on the wrong person because of routine mistakes.’
‘We found that the FBI’s corrective measures have not completely eliminated potential intelligence violations resulting from typographical errors in the identification of a telephone number, email address, or social security number in an NSL,’ the report reads.
‘These typographical errors cause the FBI to request and, in some instances receive, the information of someone other than the intended target of the NSL.’
National security letters allow investigators to collect private information, including from telephone companies and Internet service providers, without a judge’s approval.
Earlier reports from the department’s inspector general identified widespread violations in the program, including information obtained in non-emergencies.