The National Security Letter (NSL) — one of the many questionable parts of the egregious Patriot Act that was shoved down the American peoples’ collective throats after the 9/11 attacks that were allowed to happen by the complicit, corrupted Bush administration — has reportedly been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
An NSL is a form of administrative subpoena used by the FBI and other federal governmental agencies to demand a particular entity or organization to turn over various records and data pertaining to individuals that requires no probable cause or judicial oversight. NSLs contain a gag order that prevents the recipient of the letter from disclosing that the letter was ever issued.
Despite the fact that the Bush administration established the precedent that it was okay to ignore subpoenas and completely disregard the rule of law, many people adhered to the standards of the gag orders and never said anything when they were served an NSL.
The USA Patriot Act was quickly passed by Congress with virtually no debate 45 days after the attacks of 9/11. The Patriot Act contains many significant flaws that destroy fundamental freedoms and civil liberties — allegedly, in the name of keeping us safe — by giving the government unlimited access to your medical records, tax records, information about the books you buy or borrow without probable cause, and the power to break into your home and conduct secret searches without telling you for weeks, months, or indefinitely among many other things. In reality, the Patriot Act has been used to cover the illegal activities of the federal government and to punish its dissenters. The Press Release on the ruling from The American Civil Liberties Union is below: