Latest news and press coverage

National Public Radio: National Security Letters and Gag Orders

On The Media January 21, 2011 The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year there are only three organizations who have ever won the right to say they got one. Nick Merrill explains why he's the exception and the rule.

Twitter Shines a Spotlight on Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas

The New York Times
By Noam Cohen
Published: January 9, 2011

THE news that federal prosecutors have demanded that the microblogging site Twitter provide the account details of people connected to the WikiLeaks case, including its founder, Julian Assange, isn’t noteworthy because the government’s request was unusual or intrusive. It is noteworthy because it became public.

VIDEO: Gagged for 6 Years, Nick Merrill Speaks Out on Landmark Court Struggle Against FBI’s National Security Letters

For six years, the FBI has barred a New York man from revealing that the agency had ordered him to hand over personal information about clients of his internet start-up. Finally allowed to speak, Nick Merrill joins us in his first broadcast interview to talk about how he challenged the FBI’s use of national security letters.

‘John Doe’ Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order After 6 Years

Wired Magazine

By Kim Zetter
The owner of an internet service provider who mounted a high-profile court challenge to a secret FBI records demand has finally been partially released from a 6-year-old gag order that forced him to keep his role in the case a secret from even his closest friends and family. He can now identify himself and discuss the case, although he still can’t reveal what information the FBI sought.
Read More... http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/08/nsl-gag-order-lifted/

ACLU's archive of court filings regarding the Doe v. Ashcroft / Doe v. Holder case, 2004-2010

heavily redacted document In 2004, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the FBI's authority to demand records through NSLs and to gag NSL recipients. The suit — the first of its kind — was brought on behalf of a John Doe Internet Service Provider that had been served with an NSL and had been prohibited from disclosing — to anyone — that the FBI had demanded records. Because of the gag order, the lawsuit was initially filed under seal. More than three years ago, the FBI abandoned its demand for records. It wasn't until mid 2010 - nearly 6 and a half years later - that I was finally partially released from the gag.. Not completely - but at least enough to be identified publicly as the plaintiff in the case... http://www.aclu.org/national-security/doe-v-holder

My National Security Letter Gag Order

published Friday, March 23, 2007 in
The Washington Post

It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made because the author -- who would have preferred to be named -- is legally prohibited from disclosing his or her identity in connection with receipt of a national security letter. The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author's attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.

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