Here’s my conversation with Washington Post writer Barton Gellman about his report on the FBI’s use of national security letters to investigate the records of thousands of American citizens like you and me.

As with so many things done under the auspices of the Patriot Act, you’ll never know that you’re being investigated, and the people who provide the information to the feds have to keep it secret, or else. Worse, there are absolutely no checks on this abuse of power — no judge or prosecutor approves them, there is no review by Congress or the Justice Department — which is being used 100 times more than ever before.

Oh, did I mention that this database of information is also being shared by the government with the private sector? So much for privacy.

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