HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Anonymous ISP Owner Speaks Out, As Feds Appeal Ruling Against Patriot Act

from the freedom-of-speech,-eh? dept

It will probably come as little surprise, but the Justice Depatment has now made it official that it plans to appeal the ruling that found that the parts of the Patriot Act that expanded the power of so-called "National Security Letters" was unconstitutional. The issue here is that the Justice Department has been using these letters to get private info from telcos, ISPs and others without any oversight. Beyond not even needing to get a judge's approval, the FBI has apparently been so disorganized that it tracks the use of these NSLs on index cards and has had trouble keeping track of how often they're used. Not surprisingly, a court found this all problematic, but the Justice Department continues to insist that it's just fine and dandy. In response, the anonymous small ISP owner who filed the original lawsuit has spoken out against the policy, noting that the gag order imposed on recipients of national security letters makes it "impossible... to discuss their specific concerns with the public, the press and Congress." He also stated: "This seems to be counterintuitive to everything I assumed about this country's commitment to free speech and the value of political discourse." Indeed. It's yet to be explained why there isn't any oversight here at all. Given the opportunity for abuse when there's no oversight, can someone give a good reason why these things should be allowed? They can be just as effective with a judge approving them. However, with no oversight and the corresponding gag order, it seems like an open playing field for abuse of the system. Given that the FBI can't even track how they're using these tools, it seems even more dangerous.

Filed Under: national security letters, patriot act


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Overcast, 6 Nov 2007 @ 1:45pm

    No Surprise really..

    Funny thing is - they can get what they want from ISP's - and the ISP isn't allowed to talk about it. Ok, I see not talking about specifics - but what about in general?

    Seems real shady to me.

    I don't understand the warrant-less searches unless they are just a means of taking more rights from the citizens. After all - what judge wouldn't ok a warrant for a suspected terrorist?

    "You have nothing to fear, if you have done nothing wrong."

    And that's the biggest BS excuse for being lazy and not worrying about constitutional rights. After all: IT IS THE LAW THAT THEY HAVE TO HAVE A WARRANT.

    Doing nothing, doing something, something to worry about, nothing to worry about - IT IS THE LAW that they have to obtain a warrant *if* they have probable cause.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    What part of that don't some people understand? Or are the new laws more important than the laws used in the founding of this nation, but OBVIOUSLY they are meaningless to some people.

    To that: in FACT the Government IS breaking the law - and they still don't have anything to worry about. They go on preaching to me about 'doing nothing wrong' while they stomp and piss all over the constitution.

    But I guess - I'm the horrible person - the 'nonconforming' person who thinks the constitution actually means something.

    Sorry I was so very wrong! The Patriot Act has proven to protect us!! Unlike that ratty ol' Constitution - what good has that ever done anyone?

    "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    But that's ok - I guess we'll all get what's coming to us eventually. Sadly, it seems most people agree with this viewpoint....

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.