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Hey, buddy, get a warrant

May 27, 2006

This blog noted a couple of weeks ago how National Security Letters might be used to launder illegal surveillance.

Well, here’s some good news that flew beneath my radar last week. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rulings of two lower courts (one in NY, one in CT) that the National Security Letters provision of the USAPATRIOT Act is unconstitutional.

Wrote Judge Richard Cardamone:

“A ban on speech and a shroud of secrecy in perpetuity are antithetical to democratic concepts and do not fit comfortably with the fundamental rights guaranteed American citizens…. Unending secrecy of actions taken by government officials may also serve as a cover for possible official misconduct and/or incompetence.”

Judge Cardamone added that national security concerns “should be leavened with common sense so as not forever to trump the rights of the citizenry under the Constitution.”

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