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November 2007: FBI issues draft guidance on Community of Interest requests.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.