Although the Section 215 PATRIOT Act and Section 702 FISA Amendment Act authorities are the ones that have received so much coverage in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations, it’s worth remembering that earlier this year a federal judge found the PATRIOT Act’s national security letter provision unconstitutional. And earlier this month, Declan McCullagh at c/net made this observation:
While NSLs predate the Patriot Act, the 2001 law significantly broadened their scope and led to a sharp uptick in their usage: the FBI issued 192,499 of the demands from 2003 to 2006, and 97 percent of NSLs include a mandatory gag order. One letter can be used to obtain full database dumps; BusinessWeek reported in 2005 that NSLs were used to demand “financial records covering about one million” visitors to Las Vegas.
Just another reason why the PATRIOT Act & FISA Amendments Act need to be repealed.