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Federal Appeals Court to Decide Whether FBI’s National Security Letters Are Constitutional

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal appeals court is expected to decide soon whether the FBI’s “national security letters” are constitutional, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The letters are a demand for customer information in terrorism-related cases, allowing the FBI to obtain information without a warrant.

San Francisco U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled last year that the letters violate the First Amendment because they prohibit recipients from disclosing that they’ve received one.

The 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals is reviewing the case.

“The gag order says you not only have to turn over the information, but you can’t complain about it,” said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh.


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