DOJ Says It Has Never Used Key PATRIOT Provision
The Department of Justice announced on September 18 that it had never once used a contentious provision of the USA PATRIOT Act authorizing the FBI to obtain access to business records containing personal information. There has been widespread concern that Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act allowed fishing expeditions, including for library records. In multiple responses to Congressional inquiries, Justice Department officials have defended the provision. Now they say they never used it, apparently even for information like travel records and records about bomb-making materials that would be clearly relevant to terrorism investigations.