Federal judge strikes down FBI surveillance provisions

The government can no longer use National Security Letters to collect customer data from companies without a warrant, Judge Susan Illston ruled

A federal judge ruled unconstitutional on Friday a national security law that allows the federal government to seize customer information from companies without a warrant.

Judge Susan Illston ruled that National Security Letters (NSLs) violate the First Amendment and “suffer from significant constitutional infirmities.” The government has used NSLs to collect consumer information for decades, but the 2001 passage of the USA Patriot Act significantly increased their scope.

Alanna Byrne

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