Judge disarms Patriot Act proviso

A key part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to secretly demand information from Internet providers violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero barred the FBI from invoking that portion of the law in the future, saying it is an “unconstitutional prior restraint of speech in violation of the First Amendment.”
The 2001 law requires Internet service providers and any other type of communications provider to comply with secret “national security letters” from the FBI. Those letters may ask for information about subscribers, including what local and long-distance telephone calls they have made.
In a lawsuit filed in April, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of an unnamed Internet company as an undue restriction on free speech and privacy rights. The recipient of a national security letter (NSL) is forever gagged against disclosing its existence “to any person”–a strict requirement that the ACLU argued could not be squared with the U.S. Constitution.
Judge disarms Patriot Act proviso | Tech News on ZDNet

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