National Security Letters:
The Washington Post has an important story on overuse of the FBI's authority to issue National Security Letters (NSLs) in terrorism investigations. The author's personal views are pretty clear, and some of the pieces don't quite fit together — for example, I'm not entirely sure of the connection between NSLs and databases. But putting aside the occasional op-ed-like quality of the piece, it has some important new information about how changing FBI guidelines may have considerably expanded the use of NSLs. Of particular interest: "The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms."