FBI chief: Court ruling on provision of Patriot Act 'misguided'

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday described as "misguided" a recent court decision that would prevent the government from obtaining personal, e-mail and financial records without a judge's approval. The federal government this week appealed a ruling by US District Judge Victor Marrero in New York that struck down a key provision of the USA Patriot Act, the post-Sept. 11 attacks anti-terrorist legislation. "The opinion was misguided. That's why it's being appealed," Mueller said in a brief news conference Tuesday at Penn State University, where he was to speak at a forum on online crime. The Patriot Act blocks Internet service providers from telling customers whether the government has demanded private information from them. Mueller said access allowed under current law to information including e-mail addresses and telephone numbers is needed to potentially aid investigations.