The Chicago Syndicate: FBI Director Meets with Privacy and Civil Liberties Groups
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Monday, July 09, 2007

FBI Director Meets with Privacy and Civil Liberties Groups

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, met today with representatives of several privacy and civil liberties groups in a continuation of discussions surrounding the Bureau’s use of National Security Letters.

The leaders and representatives of advocacy groups had a chance to discuss with Director Mueller and the FBI’s General Counsel, Valerie Caproni, the Bureau’s continuing initiatives to strengthen internal controls designed to protect privacy and civil liberties.

Today’s meeting is part of a continuing dialogue aimed at reaching out to subject matter experts, including critics, who may give added value to the development of internal processes. The FBI’s goal is to maintain compliance with rules and law while effectively carrying out the FBI’s mission to deter and prevent terrorism. At the initial meeting in March, Bureau officials discussed the findings released by the Department of Justice Inspector General regarding the FBI’s use of National Security Letters and the actions taken by the FBI based on the Inspector General’s recommendations. At a follow up meeting, privacy groups were provided the draft proposal for improved internal guidelines. The advocacy groups provided valuable suggestions, many of which were incorporated into the final product.

“These are complex issues, and it’s important that we have an open and ongoing dialogue,” said Director Mueller. “We have worked hard to develop more transparency around our development of policy where privacy and civil liberties are concerned. We may not agree with the advocacy groups on every point, but the dialogue is valuable and their advice is important to us.”

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