Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials won’t reveal how the agency uses judgeless subpoenas to obtain Americans’ records, claiming that doing so will “interfere” with law enforcement efforts.
The Daily Caller News Foundation, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), recently requested copies of all warantless or administrative subpoenas the FTC and nine other agencies have issued over the last three years.
TheDCNF has previously reported how federal agencies increasingly use constitutionally questionable warrantless demands to obtain everything from Americans’ emails to medical records without seeking prior approval by a judge or demonstrating probable cause of a crime having been committed.
But the FTC claims in a Nov. 24 letter that at least some of those records are exempt “because disclosure of that material could reasonably be expected to interfere with the conduct of the commission’s law enforcement activities.”
The FOIA allows federal agencies to exempt documents related to active law enforcement cases. The FTC offers no further explanation.
“The FTC’s opaqueness is synonymous with the quickness with which it disregards the Constitution,” Daniel Epstein, executive director for Cause of Action, tells TheDCNF.
So far, the FTC is the only agency to deny TheDCNF’s request based on claims of law enforcement interference.
An FTC spokesman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
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