Wednesday, August 27, 2008

U.S. Judges Consider Whether FBI Violated Free Speech

A Reuters newswire article, via ABC News, reports that:

A panel of federal appeals court judges pushed a U.S. government lawyer on Wednesday to answer why FBI letters sent out to Internet service providers seeking information should remain secret.

A panel of three judges from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether a provision of the Patriot Act, which requires people who are formally contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information to keep it a secret, is constitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in 2004 on behalf of an undisclosed Internet service provider against the U.S. government challenging the so-called National Security Letters (NSL) as well as gag orders placed on the recipients.

The appeals courts on Wednesday questioned a lawyer representing the U.S. government on whether the FBI violated free speech rights in placing the gag orders.

More here.


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