Probably the most important news that you’ll never see unless you read it here. I guess a lot of the stuff I post just isn’t sensational enough to warrant a front page on most news sites. A Federal Judge has ruled the FBI is violating the First Amendment and must stop.
The FBI has been issuing national security letters. These are letters demanding customer information, personal information and the FBI sends them to banks, phone companies, and other businesses. They are sent with no judicial oversight and the companies who receive them are banned from disclosing they have done so.
This doesn’t sound like some kind of totalitarian state. An all seeing agency using their power to gather information on citizens. U.S. district judge Susan Illston wrote that the letters and non-disclosure policy needed to serve national security and the government had failed to show so she ordered the stop of the letters.
Then she suspended that for 90 days so the DOJ can pursue an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Of course this is the same DOJ who won’t pursue legal action against its head who is in contempt of Congress. They have still refused to turn over the results of the Fast and Furious debacle so we can expect an appeal while they continue to flaunt the law as if they were all powerful.
Let’s hope the 9th Circuit judges are at least intelligent as the 2nd circuit U.S. Court of Appeal who found the letters unconsitutional unless the FBI alerted the recipients to the fact they could ask for federal judge review of any letters they received from the FBI.
This isn’t the first time these letters have been dealt with either, under the last president the DOJ inspector general found widespread violations of the program which caused an apparent overhaul of the system, but it looks like they’ve reverted to their old tricks.
So thanks to a federal judge you now are not subject to having your personal information rooted through by the government for no other reason other than they would like to see what they can. I don’t see how that wasn’t found unconstitutional under First and Fourth Amendment rights long ago, how wasn’t it common sense.
It just goes to show you how fragile your rights really are and that the courts are your last line of defense against the violations of the same because the Executive and Legislative bodies seem to be doing very little to stop it or hold it in check.