Two Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the Justice Department of misleading the public on legal justification of domestic spying under the Patriot Act. The DOJ denied that they provided any misleading information.
The senators are concerned about Section 215 of the Patriot Act that allows a secret national security court to enable the F.B.I. to obtain “any tangible things” in a national security investigation including customer information like hotel or credit card records. The senators say with a go ahead from the secret security court, the government has also interpreted the provision as allowing the government to obtain private information about people with no link to terrorism or espionage. -db
From The New York Times, September 21, 2011, by Charlie Savage.