Hot! Federal Court Strikes Down FBI’s Demands for Private Data

031813_FBI_Joss U

A federal court has struck down the FBI’s practice of using gagging orders to acquire U.S. citizens’ private data. The FBI was citing national security as they issued what are called “national security letters” (NSL’s). The California District court ruled the hyper-secret NSL’s unconstitutional, as they breached the First Amendment. The NSL’s are considered hyper-secret since they come with a gagging order attached, meaning recipients must remain mum on the matter.

Since 9/11, the FBI’s use of NSL’s has “mushroomed” — more than 16,000 letters have been sent to over 7,000 Americans, reports The Guardian. The FBI has been accused of abusing its use of NSL’s and sending out the letters in cases that weren’t necessarily counter-terrorism threats. The FBI was also issuing the letters without prior approval from a judge.

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The judge in the case has built in a 90-day period before the ruling takes effect to allow the government time to appeal the decision.

Read the full article here.

 

Related articles: Google Transparency Report Shows Increased FBI Snooping

 

Flickr photo courtesy of Joss U

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