Fed. Judge Rules Patriot Act's NSL Letters Unconstitutional
The ACLU scored a big victory for all of us today. A federal judge in New York found the Patriot Act provision pertaining to national security letters -- specifically, the part that gagged recipients of the letter -- unconstitutional.
A federal court today struck down the amended Patriot Act’s National Security Letter (NSL) provision. The law has permitted the FBI to issue NSLs demanding private information about people within the United States without court approval, and to gag those who receive NSLs from discussing them. The court found that the gag power was unconstitutional and that because the statute prevented courts from engaging in meaningful judicial review of gags, it violated the First Amendment and the principle of separation of powers.
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