Exigent Letters Timeline
July 2002: CAU formed
March 14, 2003: First exigent letter issued in NY
May 2003: First contract with telecom for onsite exigent assistance
March 2004: Last contract with telecom for onsite exigent assistance
February 2, 2005: Operation W NSL signed; Tracker database attempted
February 2006: Procedures to verify factual accuracy of FISA applications
March 9, 2006: Bush signs PATRIOT extension with new Section 215 guidelines
May 12, 2006: First blanket NSL (for Company B)
May 17, 2006: Assistant General Counsel sends email regarding exigent letters (leads to OGC “learning” of practice)
May 24, 2006: First Section 215 order approved by FISC
July 5, 2006: Second blanket NSL
August 2, 2006: AGC sends follow-up on exigent letters blanket NSL for Company B
September 18, 2006: Youssef cancels hot number service from Company C
September 21, 2006: Third blanket NSL
October 10, 2006: Company B changes policy on exigent letters to require SSA to say it is emergency involving death or serious injury.
November 7, 2006: AGC sends email to Valerie Caproni on blanket NSL, heads up for IG investigation
February 22, 2007: AGC tells Youssef the blanket NSLs may be PIOBs, need to be reported within 14 days
March 1, 2007: FBI draws up new guidelines, requiring factual predicate and limiting people who can authorize exigent letters
March 9, 2007: IG Report on NSLs including “any illegal and improper use” in 2003 though 2005
June 1, 2007: FBI Guidance on who could sign NSLs
August 28, 2007: First OLC request to approve exigent letters.
October 31, 2007: FBI tells IOB it will send letter on blanket NSLs and purge all illegally acquired information.
November 2007: FBI issues draft guidance on Community of Interest requests.
December 2007 to January 2008: Telecom personnel move out of CAU.
January 11, 2008: FBI issues new protocol for requesting phone records.
February 29, 2008: Bush guts the Intelligence Advisory Board, stripping it of investigative ability and oversight over IGs. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2008/03/14/president_weakens_espionage_oversight/?page=1
March 13, 2008: IG Report on NSLs, assessing corrective actions of FBI and describing NSL usage in 2006
November 5, 2008: OLC issues opinion in response to August 28, 2007 request
January 16, 2009: OLC issues a response on whether Acting DADs and other Acting officials could sign NSLs
March 31, 2009: FBI formally informs IAB of NSL problems
August 17, 2009: Obama appoints Chuck Hagel to IAB.
October 29, 2009: Obama restores investigative ability to Intelligence Advisory Board
January 20, 2010: IG Report on exigent letters
June 5, 2013: Guardian publishes Section 215 order to Verizon calling for all call metadata on all customers over 3 month period. Dianne Feinstein makes it clear this is part of program in place since 2006.
Reasonable to interpret the May 11 USA today story as someone’s attempt to brush back the blanket NSL letter stuff?