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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

A provision of the controversial Patriot Act which allowed the FBI to clandestinely demand information from ISPs has been ruled unconstitutional. Calling it a prior restraint of speech barred by the First Amendment, US District Judge Victor Marrero overturned the portion of the law that allowed the FBI to send National Security Letters (NSLs) to Internet service providers without judicial review. Other communications providers (e.g., cellular and phone companies) are also subject to the portion of the Patriot Act that was overturned.

"All but the most mettlesome and undaunted NSL recipients would consider themselves effectively barred from consulting an attorney or anyone else who might advise them otherwise," Marrero concluded, "as well as bound to absolute silence about the existence of the NSL...For the reasonable NSL recipient confronted with the NSL's mandatory language and the FBI's conduct related to the NSL, resistance is not a viable option."

The suit was filed last April by the ACLU on behalf of an unnamed ISP which had presumably received an NSL from the FBI, the existence of which cannot be revealed to third parties. Under the law, the FBI could demand the information from ISPs by affirming that the information was relevant to a terrorist-related investigation. Prior to the Act's enactment, a judicial order was necessary.

Judge Marrero has stayed his decision for 90 days, giving the government time to appeal the decision. If the decision is upheld, it may give lawmakers some pause about renewing the Patriot Act, which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2005.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:12 PM
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

NY Times filed suit today to block the justice dept. from aquiring the phone records of all the reporters who wrote about 9/11 and iraq. sniffing for leaks?

1984, it was a very good year....

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

Jeezus what a fright. This is not the country I was raised in...

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 10:07 PM
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

Here is more- the AP feed on the thing I mentioned:
NEW YORK (AP) The New York Times sued Attorney General John Ashcroft today.

The newspaper is seeking -- on First Amendment grounds -- to block the Justice Department from obtaining records of phone calls between two journalists and their confidential sources.

The lawsuit asks a judge to intervene and stop the the justice department from getting the records as part of a probe aimed at learning the names of government employees who may have given information to the newspaper.

It said the government intends to get the records, which reflect confidential communications between journalists Philip Shenon and Judith Miller and their sources.

The lawsuit said the justice department has advised the Times that it plans to obtain records of all telephone calls by Shenon and Miller for 20 days in the months after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Times lawyer George Freeman said most of the sources had no link to the government's probe.

Attorney Floyd Abrams, who filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, said it's a very dangerous notion for the justice department to seek phone records from third parties rather than the Times.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, a Chicago special prosecutor appointed to investigate government leaks, asked the Times in August 2002 and again in July to produce Shenon and Miller for interviews and to produce records of their calls.

The lawsuit said the prosecutor threatened that if the Times didn't cooperate, he'd obtain phone records from third parties. In a letter dated Friday, Deputy Attorney General James Comey said the justice department had decided to proceed to obtain the records.

According to the lawsuit, the government told the Times it wanted phone records from Shenon for a probe into a leak by a government employee about a planned raid on the offices of the Global Relief Foundation, an Islamic charity group accused of funding terrorist operations.

The December, 2001, raid wasn't unexpected, and the newspaper had reported on October 1st, 2001, that the group was suspected of providing money to terrorist operations. Neither Shenon nor the Times reported on the raid until after it occurred.

The lawsuit said Miller's phone records are being sought in connection with an investigation into an alleged leak from a government employee in late September and early October 2001. It said the alleged leak concerned a government decision to freeze the assets of the Global Relief Foundation and a Dallas Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation, both accused of aiding Hamas.


(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

oooooh wheeeee, that slippery slope's gettin' mighty steep these days!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

And for their next trick.....


The U.S. Justice Department will probably appeal a New York district court ruling that the Patriot Act violates the U.S. constitution, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday.

Ashcroft said he would study it upon his return to Washington but "it's almost a certainty it will be appealed."

"We believe the act to be completely consistent with the United States constitution," he told reporters at talks with European Union officials.

On Wednesday, a district judge struck down a USA Patriot Act provision allowing the FBI to gather phone and Web customer records and then barring the service providers from ever disclosing the search took place.

The decision is the second time a judge has ruled unconstitutional part of the Patriot Act, a package of prosecution and surveillance tools passed shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"There are hundreds of district court judges, and one of them has indicated that some parts of the Patriot Act, in accordance with his view, does not meet constitutional standards," he said. "We will continue in the United States to use every tool we have in the Constitution to fight terrorism."

Judge Victor Marrero said the law violated the Fourth Amendment because it barred or deterred any judicial challenge to government searches, and it violated the First Amendment because its permanent ban on disclosure was a prior restraint on speech.

He noted that the U.S. Supreme Court recently said that a "state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

"Sometimes a right, once extinguished, may be gone for good," Marrero wrote.

President Bush has been pushing Congress to renew the Patriot Act before it expires next year, arguing that it is one of law enforcement's best tools in preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 09:54 AM
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

With all the enthusiam the justice department is going after the NYT and ISPs, why aren't they applying that to Robert Novak, to find out who leaked Valerie Plame's identity?????? It's so freaking political it makes me SICK!!!!!!! [xx(]

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 11:52 PM
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RE: Judge overturns Patriot Act ISP provision

Quote:
old300D - 9/30/2004 11:54 AM

With all the enthusiam the justice department is going after the NYT and ISPs, why aren't they applying that to Robert Novak, to find out who leaked Valerie Plame's identity?????? It's so freaking political it makes me SICK!!!!!!! [xx(]
Amen! And Novak had the nerve to demand Dan Rather give up his sources on the TANG documents.
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