Video on National Security Letters

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has put together a 26-minute video entitled “FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy”, which can be viewed online or ordered on DVD.  It features interviews with Lisa Graves, Bruce Fein, and George Christian, who actually received one of these letters and can talk about it.

Hat tips to EFF and BeSpacific for the link.

Cyberlaw Central Commentary:

National Security Letters are the hidden, secret ways that ISP’s can be ordered to turn over customer information without judicial oversight.  Authorized by the Patriot Act, these are intended for anti-terrorism activities, but are capable of significant abuse.  This video does a good job explaining what they are, I highly recommend watching.

One Response to Video on National Security Letters

  1. Recently Obama Signed a One Year Extension To The Patriot Act.

    It does not take much knowledge of history to understand how a corrupt U.S. Government could use National Security Letters under the Patriot Act—As A Political or Economic Weapon.
    Currently in the name of fighting terrorism, U.S. Government can use National Security Letters to search a Citizen’s private information and records without having to provide specific facts—the person’s information sought pertains to a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. Government can impose National Security Letters without probable cause on your employer, your business client(s) credit card providers, even your relationships. After you receive a National Security Letter, under current law you can’t tell anyone. National Security Letters if used by a tyrannical U.S. Government, could be very threatening to Americans when you consider methods used by other governments. For example in Nazi Germany, the Gestapo routinely targeted and damaged business people and companies that refused to support the Nazi Government by—interrogating their customers—about them. Not surprisingly targeted business people and companies found it difficult to make a living after their frightened customers and clients distanced themselves after Gestapo interrogation. Some German corporations with ties to the Reich government used the Gestapo to scare off their business rivals’ associates and customers—to take their business. A corrupt U.S. Government could as easily use National Security Letters in the same manner and to intimidate Americans exercising First Amendment Rights.

    Congress needs to pass legislation that prevents Government using National Security Letters to investigate Americans without first demonstrating a clear standard of probable cause.

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