Blog of Rights

"Doe" No Mo'!

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:39pm

Well, we can finally say it: John Doe is Nicholas Merrill! For the first time since the FBI served him with a national security letter (NSL) and placed him under gag more than six years ago, Nick can finally speak out about his experiences as the first person to ever bring a challenge against NSLs.

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The ACLU and New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the NSL statute and the gag order on behalf of Nick in April 2004, which resulted in numerous court rulings finding the NSL statute unconstitutional.

Thanks to Nick's actions, courts have now recognized the need for judicial oversight of the government's dangerous NSL gag power. But while misuse and abuse of the NSL power has been widely documented, Congress has neglected to reform the NSL statute to rein in those abuses and bring it in line with the court rulings in our case. And now, the Obama administration is seeking to expand the statute to allow the FBI to demand even more records without court approval.

Join Nick and the ACLU and take action now: tell Congress to reign in the abuse of power!

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