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NYTimes.com Article: Broad Domestic Role Asked for C.I.A. and

the Pentagon 
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Broad Domestic Role Asked for C.I.A. and the Pentagon

May 2, 2003

WASHINGTON, May 1 - The Bush administration and leading Senate Republicans
sought today to give the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon
far-reaching new powers to demand personal and financial records on people
in the United States as part of foreign intelligence and terrorism
operations, officials said.

The proposal, which was beaten back, would have given the C.I.A. and the
military the authority to issue administrative subpoenas - known as
"national security letters" - requiring Internet providers, credit card
companies, libraries and a range of other organizations to produce
materials like phone records, bank transactions and e-mail logs. That
authority now rests largely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and
the subpoenas do not require court approval.

... But Democrats and civil liberties advocates said they were alarmed by
the idea that the C.I.A. and the military could begin prying into
Americans' personal and financial records.

...  Attorney General John Ashcroft said in an annual report that the
Justice Department used secret warrants a record 1,228 times last year, -
an increase of more than 30 percent over the year before. The court that
governs the warrants did not turn down any of the Justice Department's
applications, officials said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company