the second rule of Patriot Act is that you do not talk about Patriot Act

Justice Department Censors ACLU Web Site

When a federal judge ruled two weeks ago that the American Civil Liberties Union could finally reveal the existence of a lawsuit challenging the USA Patriot Act, the group issued a news release. But the next day, according to new documents released yesterday, the ACLU was forced to remove two paragraphs from the release posted on its Web site, after the Justice Department complained that the group had violated court secrecy rules. [...]

The dispute centered on two paragraphs. The first laid out the court's schedule for receiving legal briefs and noted the name of the New York-based judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.

The second paragraph read: "The provision under challenge allows an FBI agent to write a letter demanding the disclosure of the name, screen names, addresses, e-mail header information, and other sensitive information held by 'electronic communication service providers.'"

Justice lawyers said that both paragraphs violated a secrecy order and that the ACLU should be required to seek an exemption to publicize the information, court records show. [...]

The ACLU first filed its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such demands, known as national security letters, on April 6, but the secrecy rules of the Patriot Act required the challenge to be filed under seal. A ruling April 28 allowed the release of a heavily censored version of the complaint, but the ACLU is still forbidden from revealing many details of the case, including the identity of another plaintiff who has joined in the lawsuit. The law forbids targets of national security letters to disclose that they have received one.

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15 Responses:

  1. brad says:

    I can't believe I live in this country.

    • waider says:

      Relatively easily fixed, but as I pointed out to a friend, the more of the current residents who bail out, the less people are left behind to try and fix the problem from within.

      Anyway, when I saw the post I initially thought that my lj friendslist had mysteriously presented me with days-old data, rather than the Same Shit, Different Day thing happening. Kinda coincidental in that light that you're the first poster on the thread!

    • harryh says:

      It's still a lot better here than most any other country in the world. And for that matter it's a lot better here now than is has been for most of the history of the US.

      • baconmonkey says:

        yeah, but it was a lot better here just a few years ago than it is now.

        • harryh says:

          I don't think that's nearly as clear as you think. For hindsite to have much benefit you've got to wait at least a little while for the reprecussions to become clear.

          Sure, I'm just as disturbed as the rest of y'all about some of the things that have happened in the last three years (patriot act, quasi-legal detainings, etc.) but these things aren't *that* bad yet. They're only really scary if you extrapolate a trend of doom into the future, and I think doing that isn't very wise.

      • jabber says:

        That is no reason it should not be much better still.

      • kfringe says:

        Yes, it is better here. For instance: we here can point out that certain elements of our government not only envy the state of affairs in those other places, but seem to be engaging in some really egregious scumfuckery in order to reach parity with them.

  2. lars_larsen says:

    * This comment has been censored by the DOJ *

  3. Google's cache of the ACLU press release (as pointed out by <lj user=arfuni> in <lj comm=infojunkies>.

    In case that gets horfed too, I made a mirror