In reading an article about a win against the un-American Patriot Act, a few paragraphs offered a chilling description of just how bad the PA is. It is nothing less than an affront to our American values and our belief in liberty and justice for all.
Jaffer adds that by requiring information from telephone companies and Internet providers, "The FBI could . . . effectively obtain a political organization's membership list, like the NAACP or the ACLU, [and could] obtain the names of people with whom a journalist has communicated over the Internet."
Furthermore - dig this - every National Security Letter comes with a gag order. The recipients are forbidden to tell any other person that the FBI has demanded this information, and can't even tell their lawyers that the long hand of the government is scooping up their data.
As Judge Marrero said in his decision, this omnivorous invasion of privacy is so broad that it mandates this gag rule "in every case, to every person, in perpetuity, with no vehicle for the ban to ever be lifted from the recipient."
Scary, huh? You can't even tell your lawyer what is happening, so you are essentially completely powerless. This is the kind of thing we fight against when it happens in other countries. How in the hell is it happening in our own backyard?
This ruling will no doubt be appealed. We need to keep a very public eye on this and take note of who is for and against this incredibly un-American piece of legislation. We must make sure this attempt at undermining our civil liberties does not get swept under the rug.