The FBI has dramatically increased its use of a controversial provision of the Patriot Act to secretly obtain a vast store of business records of U.S. citizens under President Barack Obama, according to recent Justice Department reports to Congress.<quoted text>Did you get the memo about all the programs have been in place since 2006 with the first one in 2003? But that's just what hypocritical Repubs do.
“That they were using this (provision) to do mass collection of data is definitely the biggest surprise,” said Robert Chesney, a top national security lawyer at the University of Texas Law School.“Most people who followed this closely were not aware they were doing this. We’ve gone from producing records for a particular investigation to the production of all records for a massive pre-collection database. It’s incredibly sweeping.”
But little-noticed statements by FBI Director Robert Mueller in recent years – as well as interviews with former senior law enforcement officials – hint at what Chesney calls a largely unnoticed “sea change” in the way the U.S. government collects data for terrorism and other national security investigations.