Those concerned with the survival of American civil liberties during the post-9/11 (and now post-Boston Marathon) “age of terror” most commonly fear the federal government’s technical ability to record and store virtually all telephonic and electronic communications. But a more immediate threat to liberty lies in what one particular agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, refuses to record, as Robel Phillipos is now learning the hard way.
Phillipos is a 19-year-old Cambridge resident, former UMass Dartmouth student, and friend of alleged Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He faces charges of making materially false statements during a series of interviews with FBI agents. If convicted, he could get up to eight years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.