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US Federal judge finds National Security Letters' gag provision unconstitutional

Darren Murph
03.15.13
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Woo, boy. You know those National Security Letters that the FBI has been issuing at its own discretion -- the ones Google has been doing its best to track? Judge Susan Illston of Federal District Court in San Francisco just found 'em unconstitutional. As the story goes, NSLs arrive from the factory with a gag order on the recipient, and as Illston sees it, forbidding the recipient from "disclosing that they had received such an order." So, she's suggesting that the whole thing should be banned under the First Amendment.

Moreover, she's ordering the US government to stop enforcing the gag provision in any lingering cases, though she reportedly "stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." Needless to say, the move comes as a blow to the existing administration's surveillance practices, but something tells us this isn't the last word we'll be hearing on the matter. Hit up the links below for a look at the decision.

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