Report: FBI improves national security letter use

AP News
Posted: Aug 14, 2014 6:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's watchdog has found the FBI has improved handling of national security letters, but says the agency could do better.

Those 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.

A report released Thursday examines the program from 2007 to 2009 and how well the FBI has implemented recommendations from the earlier reports.

The inspector general says the FBI has fully implemented 31 of 41 recommendations from prior reports on the topic, but must improve in other areas, including reducing errors. It also made 10 new recommendations.

The FBI says in response that it's continued making improvements in recent years.