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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Google Challenges Government National Security Letter

Apr 7th, 2013 AIII Courts, Inteligence

Wired reports that Google has filed a petition in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California challenging a National Security Letter (NSL) issued by the U.S. government to obtain private data about one or more Google users.

As articulated by Wired, NSLs are written demands from the FBI that may be issued without court approval and that compel recipient companies–such as banks and Internet Service Providers (ISPs)–to provide the FBI with confidential customer records.

According to the article, the petition follows a California District Court decision handed down in March where an anonymous company challenged the “gag order” that attaches to the recipient of the NSL, stating such orders are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech. In that case, Judge Susan Illston, finding the gag orders unconstitutional, ordered the government to stop issuing the letters and to “cease enforcing the gag provision in cases where they have already been issued.” The judge, however, stayed the order for ninety days to permit time for appeal. Judge Illston is also scheduled to preside over the case between Google and the U.S. government.

The article goes on to state:

In early March, Google signaled an interest in becoming more transparent about the NSLs it has received by releasing a report for the first time showing a ‘range’ of times that it received NSLs from the FBI.


You can read the full Wired report here.

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