‘Scathing’ report says FBI violated guidelines.

“The FBI repeatedly failed to follow the strict guidelines of the Patriot Act when its agents took advantage of a new provision allowing the FBI to obtain phone and financial records without a court order, according to a report to be made public Friday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General. The report, in classified and unclassified versions, remains closely held, but Washington officials who have seen it tell ABC News it documents ‘numerous lapses’ and describe it as ‘scathing’ and ‘not a pretty picture for the FBI.'”

UPDATE: Tomorrow, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will “deliver keynote remarks before the International Association of Privacy Professionals.”

UPDATE II: Washington Post: “The inspector general’s audit found 22 possible breaches of internal FBI and Justice Department regulations — some of which were potential violations of law — in a sampling of 293 ‘national security letters.’ The letters were used by the FBI to obtain the personal records of U.S. residents or visitors between 2003 and 2005. The FBI identified 26 potential violations in other cases.”