from the the-abuse-of-secrecy dept
This is hardly the first time we've heard about the government using (and abusing) procedures like national security letters to not just demand all sorts of info, but also demand that the recipient not tell anyone about it. Every once in a while we're able to hear about these situations because a group like the EFF or the ACLU pushed back and were able to get the US government to back down, but that's likely only a fraction of the situations where this has happened. In many others, we likely don't even know at all, because the recipient gave in, either because they didn't realize their legal rights, or because it just wasn't worth the fight. But when the government thinks that it can demand certain data and cloak the demand behind a related demand for secrecy, it makes it way too easy for the government to abuse the process. It basically guarantees no oversight, so why not ask for way more than the law requires, knowing that most people won't push back and no one will ever find out about it?