Since the Bush coup and the 9/11 hysteria that ushered in Constitutional violations by the basket load there have been a device called a "National Security Letter." These "National Security Letters" not only subvert the warrant process protecting our rights against unlawful search and seizure. These letters had a gag order preventing recipients from discussing these violating letters, with anyone.
Finally a Federal Judge has said no more of this.
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. She also ordered the government to cease enforcing the gag provision in any other cases. However, she stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.The Justice Department, you know the one that can't manage to arrest a bankster, sued the EFF for questioning their authority:
“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 an unknown 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.”
The telecommunications company received the ultra-secret demand letter in 2011 from the FBI seeking information about a customer or customers. The company took the extraordinary and rare step of challenging the underlying authority of the National Security Letter, as well as the legitimacy of the gag order that came with it.
After the telecom challenged its NSL last year, the Justice Department took its own extraordinary measure: It sued the company, arguing in court documents that the company was violating the law by challenging its authority.
That’s a pretty intense charge, according to Matt Zimmerman, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the anonymous telecom.
“It’s a huge deal to say you are in violation of federal law having to do with a national security investigation,” says Zimmerman. “That is extraordinarily aggressive from my standpoint. They’re saying you are violating the law by challenging our authority here.”
The government’s “Jabberwocky” argument – accusing the company of violating the law when it was actually complying with the law – appears in redacted court documents that were released on Wednesday by EFF with the government’s approval. Prior to their release, the organization provided them to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the case Tuesday night. The case is a significant challenge to the government and its efforts to obtain documents in a manner that the EFF says violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association.