A blistering Justice Department report accuses the FBI of underreporting its use of the Patriot Act to force businesses to turn over customer information in terrorism cases, according to officials familiar with its findings.
The report, to be released Friday, also says the FBI failed to send follow-up subpoenas to telecommunications firms that were told to expect them, according to several government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report by the Justice Department's inspector general had not yet been released.
Overall, the FBI underreported the number of national security letters it issued by about 20 percent between 2003 and 2005, the officials said. In 2005 alone, the FBI delivered a total of 9,254 letters relating to 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents.
The FBI says the underreporting was unintentional. No foul, however, does not mean no harm.