LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The ruling of a federal judge who struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act suggests that despite Congress’ attempts to put the Act on firmer constitutional ground, it still faces significant legal challenges.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled that investigators eventually must obtain a court’s approval when ordering Internet providers and phone companies to turn over records without telling customers.
If upheld on appeal, Marrero’s decision could mean major new oversight of the FBI’s use of a controversial investigative technique.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the bureau has issued thousands of so-called national security letters to help build counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases. The letters have become a popular tool at the bureau because they do not require court approval, and recipients have been prohibited from telling their customers that the data have been requested by authorities.