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National Security Letters declared unconstitutional!

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posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 04:08 PM

Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them

Ultra-secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech, a federal judge in California ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing so-called NSLs across the board, in a stunning defeat for the Obama administration’s surveillance practices. However, she also stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We are very pleased that the Court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute,” said Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a challenge to NSLs on behalf of a telecom that received an NSL in 2011. “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.”

W00t!! So I wonder if this means that Google and whatever other companies have received these letters along with gag orders will be able to publish them now? It's always bothered me that Google has been unable to publish statistics or any info on who's personal data has been sought after by the gov through one of these letters. I sure hope this stands after the inevitable appeals that the gov will no doubt file.

Edited to add: The full ruling is available here:
edit on 15-3-2013 by SilentKoala because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 04:15 PM

This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, the Federal Court of Appeals feels the same way.

Maybe one day we will be able to see what exactly the Govt. is looking at of our information an why.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 04:18 PM
And good for the Judge and the organisation who mounted the legal fight.

About time things swing towards the people every now and then.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by MysterX

The Ninth Circus Court of Appeals is the wacky west coast branch - of week long hula-dancing conventions in Hawaii. Progressives all, no chance this will be upheld there.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 04:34 PM
This will be huge IF the 9th agrees with her. Then? Wow.. *HUGE* indeed. They've been passing these out like flyers at the fair since 9/11 and it's one of the main tools to violate us.

"Here, read this...give us everything we're asking for on everyone we want it on ...and oh, yeah, you can't even tell your Husband or Wife we were even here"

^^ That's the NSL is a nutshell for those not familiar with this Gestapo Card. It's another of those ideas that Bush or, more accurately, Cheney, came up with and Obama worked with Janet to craft into a work of art for how it's used.

The courts are just hitting my Christmas card list left and right. I might even avoid voting out every judge on the ballot next time (I do just out of principle) just as a way of saying thanks.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 05:24 PM
reply to post by SilentKoala

A judge with a backbone, I like that. We need more judges that won't be intimidated by their government. Maybe our supreme court judges can take a lesson from this. Maybe they should overturn their ruling on declaring corporations as people.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 05:32 PM
Would've been a lot better if somebody took one of them and broadcast it as wide as they possibly could have, suck it up on the jail term, and fight it out in court.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 10:48 PM
Good news, but short shrift will likely be made of this.....
The government has the courts tied up.....
That always was a sore point with me...actually
how can the Supreme Court be non partisan when they all get appointments from the goverment......??
SDhouldnt supreme Court justices be elected from the judges by the people?

posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 01:26 AM
So a judge makes a reasonable ruling on this....and then nullifies her own ruling making it nearly impossible and highly unlikely that anything will change or any information will come out...and you all so far seem to think its a good thing...

She should have stood by the decision which would have allowed any one who had been affected to come out with thier story, and forced the gov to defend itself and hope for an appeal...
instead she pulled a "pilot" and washed hands clean of the whole mess....

edit on 16-3-2013 by RadicalRebel because: (no reason given)


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