Try this line in court, Prole:
“We regret this inadvertent inaccuracy and apologize for any confusion that may have been caused.”
The Justice Department acknowledged that it misled a federal Appeals Court during oral arguments last month in a case reviewing whether the government should be able to secretly conduct electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant.
In a newly unsealed letter, a Justice Department lawyer told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that it spoke erroneously when describing the disclosure restrictions placed upon the FBI’s use of so-called national security letters. NSLs, as they are often referred, can compel companies to hand over communications data or financial records of certain users to authorities conducting a national security investigation.
The U.S. Marshals Service is harvesting large amounts of data from Americans’ cellphones through devices mounted on airplanes in an effort to locate fugitives, according to two individuals familiar with the activity.
The program operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metro-area airports and collects data from law-abiding Americans as well as criminal suspects, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story Thursday.
According to the Journal, the planes are equipped with two-foot-square devices — sometimes called “dirtboxes” — that mimic cell towers and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information and general location.