NEWS

Court Strikes Down Patriot Act Provision

by Teresa Anderson, Senior Editor

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has declared a provision of the USA PATRIOT Act unconstitutional. The court ruled in Doe v. Gonzales that the portion of the act that allows the FBI to issue national security letters (NSL) in which the agency demands private information about companies and individuals violates the First Amendment and the principle of separation of powers. Under the PATRIOT Act, the NSLs could be issued without first obtaining a warrant. Further, the person receiving the NSL was prohibited from speaking about the issue. If a company was issued an NSL, it was not allowed to notify the target of the investigation.

 

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