Featured Articles

Intel releases tiny 3G cell modem

Intel releases tiny 3G cell modem

Intel has released a 3G cellular modem with an integrated power amplifier that fits into a 300 mm2 footprint, claiming it…

More...
Braswell 14nm Atom slips to Q2 15

Braswell 14nm Atom slips to Q2 15

It's not all rosy in the house of Intel. It seems that upcoming Atom out-of-order cores might be giving this semiconductor…

More...
TSMC 16nm wafers coming in Q1 2015

TSMC 16nm wafers coming in Q1 2015

TSMC will start producing 16nm wafers in the first quarter of 2015. Sometime in the second quarter production should ramp up…

More...
Skylake-S LGA is 35W to 95W TDP part

Skylake-S LGA is 35W to 95W TDP part

Skylake-S is the ‘tock’ of the Haswell architecture and despite being delayed from the original plan, this desktop part is scheduled…

More...
Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool is well known for its gamer cases with aggressive styling. However, the Dead Silence chassis offers consumers a new choice,…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Friday, 07 September 2007 07:16

Judge rules against part of Patriot Act

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Broadened NSLs violate Constitution


 

In a key ruling on September 6th a U.S. District Court Judge has ruled unconstitutional the amended Patriot Act’s National Security Letter (NSL) provision that allows the FBI to send secret demands/NSLs to electronic communications service providers (ECSPs) demanding access to subscriber or transactional records, to obtain financial and credit documents and to obtain library records about subscribers.

NSLs were allowed prior to 2001 under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, but were supposed to be used only for investigations of terrorists or spies acting on behalf of a foreign power. After enactment of the Patriot Act in 2001, NSLs were given broader authority to request confidential customer information that was “relevant” to an investigation without requiring court approval, and NSLs also required a “gag” order on those who received the request for information.

The federal Judge ruled that the gag provisions were unconstitutional because no prior court approval was required before they were issued, violating the separation of powers provision where judicial matters are reserved solely for the judicial branch of the U.S. government; and that NSLs also violated First Amendment Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and expression. The U.S. Justice Department did not indicate whether it would appeal the Judge’s ruling.

This ruling should help take the burden off Internet Service Providers, banks, lending institutions and librarians who have been put in the uncomfortable position of having to reveal confidential subscriber information about their customers, and also being unable to discuss it.  The ruling also requires there to be more justification and judicial involvement before such a request for customer confidential information can be required.

Last modified on Friday, 07 September 2007 09:42

David Stellmack

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments