For Immediate Release
March 16, 2006
FBI National Press Office
F.B.I. Data Collection
To the Editor:
"Justice Dept. Report Cites Intelligence-Rule Violations by F.B.I." (news article, March 9) reports that "problems appear to have grown more frequent" and that "the duration of the violations also grew."
In reality, the number of possible violations involving the F.B.I.'s use of intelligence authorities reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board decreased from 63 in 2004 to 45 in 2005, the time period cited in the article.
The inspector general revised calculations based on data errors and reported that the average duration actually decreased from 24 to 16 days. The median duration decreased from 16 to 8 days.
In addition, the reported 373-day collection overrun was also a data error in the original inspector general's report and was reduced to 58 days.
Many of the violations reported involved telephone companies providing content of a call even though the F.B.I.'s order authorized only collection of telephone numbers — a mistake outside the F.B.I.'s control.
In the case of the 181 calls, the F.B.I. discovered the mistake and moved quickly to shut down the collection. The content was immediately sealed and sequestered, and the matter was referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board, as required.
Most important, the inspector general found no instances by the F.B.I. of willful disregard for the law or for court orders.
Office of Public Affairs, F.B.I.
Washington, March 14, 2006
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