Thursday, August 25, 2005

The First Amendment takes another hit

Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

No, it doesn't. It waves o'er the land of the secure and the home of the frightened.


Anonymous said...


Ron said...

Damn, I hate when that happens! I can't even remember what the damn story was about now.

I've got to start remembering to excerpt news stories.

Ron said...

Ha! Found it! Thank God for Google.

Patriot Act blocks details of complaint against FBI

Washington Post

WASHINGTON - A member of the American Library Association has sued the Justice Department to challenge an FBI demand for records, but the USA Patriot Act prohibits the plaintiff from publicly disclosing its identity or other details of the dispute, according to court documents released Thursday.

The lawsuit comes as Congress prepares to enter final negotiations about renewal of the Patriot Act counterterrorism law, which was overwhelmingly approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But parts of the law, including provisions that could have an impact on libraries, have since come under fire.

Justice Department and FBI officials have repeatedly declined to identify how many times Patriot Act-related powers have been used to seek or obtain information from libraries, but they have strongly urged Congress not to limit their ability to do so.

The lawsuit, originally filed under seal in Connecticut on Aug. 9, focuses on the FBI's use of a document called a "national security letter," which allows investigators to demand records without the approval of a judge and to prohibit companies or institutions from disclosing the request. Restrictions on the FBI's ability to use NSLs were loosened under the Patriot Act.

The identity of the institution, the records being sought and numerous other details are edited out of the public version of the complaint released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is a party to the lawsuit.

Phil said...

Shit, that's scary.