Victory in Patriot Act Case!

In a major free-speech victory yesterday, a federal appeals court sided with the ACLU and struck down parts of the Patriot Act that allow the FBI to prevent national security letter (NSL) recipients from speaking out about secret record demands that strictly curtail judicial review of government-imposed gags.

The FBI uses NSLs to compel Internet service providers, libraries, banks, and credit reporting companies to turn over sensitive information about their customers and patrons. Through NSLs, the FBI can compile vast dossiers on innocent people and obtain personal information such as web sites a person visits, e-mail addresses to which a person has written, or even the identity of a person who has posted anonymous speech on a political website. The NSL statute allows the FBI to forbid or "gag" anyone who receives an NSL from telling anyone about the record demand.

Because NSLs can be issued without prior court approval and without probable cause, the FBI issues tens of thousands of NSLs every year. The Justice Department's Inspector General has reported that between 2003 and 2006, the FBI issued nearly 200,000 NSLs. The Inspector General has also found serious FBI abuses of the NSL power. The gags that accompany NSL record demands have helped to keep the public in the dark about these abuses.

Although the NSL statute allowed recipients to challenge the gag orders, the scheme had some serious constitutional flaws. For example, the statute required the person gagged to go to court and show they should be allowed to speak. (The normal rule is that the government has to go to court and prove it has a compelling reason to silence you.) The statute also required the courts to defer almost entirely to the government's claim that gags were necessary. In other words, the statute basically tied the courts' hands and required judges to rubber stamp the gag orders.

Yesterday, the appeals court found that this scheme violated the First Amendment. The appeals court held that it is the government that must go to court and justify silencing NSL recipients. The appeals court also invalidated parts of the statute that narrowly limited judicial review of the gag orders. The court emphasized the importance of independent judicial review of executive branch gag orders, stating: "The fiat of a governmental official, though senior in rank and doubtless honorable in the execution of official duties, cannot displace the judicial obligation to enforce constitutional requirements. 'Under no circumstances should the Judiciary become the handmaiden of the Executive.'" The appeals court also ruled that the government must now justify the gag on the John Doe NSL recipient in the case, a gag that has been in place for more than four years.

The ACLU originally filed this case in April 2004 on behalf of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that received an NSL. Because the FBI imposed a gag order on the ISP, the lawsuit was filed under seal, and even today the ACLU is prohibited from disclosing its client's identity. The FBI continues to maintain the gag order even though the underlying investigation is more than four years old and may well have ended, and even though the FBI abandoned its demand for records from the ISP over a year and a half ago.

After Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down the NSL statute in September 2004, Congress amended the NSL law. Soon thereafter, the ACLU brought a new challenge to the amended statute, and in September 2007 Judge Marrero again found the statute unconstitutional. The appeals court ruling yesterday upheld part of Judge Marrero's September 2007 ruling.

In response to the decision yesterday, ACLU attorney Melissa Goodman stated:

We are gratified that the appeals court found that the FBI cannot silence people with complete disregard for the First Amendment simply by saying the words 'national security. This is a major victory for the rule of law. The court recognized the need for judicial oversight of the government's dangerous gag power and rejected the Bush administration's position that the courts should just rubber-stamp these gag orders. By upholding the critical check of judicial review, the FBI can no longer use this incredible power to hide abuse of its intrusive Patriot Act surveillance powers and silence critics."

Learn more about NSLs and the Patriot Act by downloading our Surveillance Society fact sheet.

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Vic Livingston ...

It appears that the government has used the Patriot Act and other provisions of the "war on terror" to conduct extensive "extrajudicial targeting" of U.S. citizens -- perhaps for reasons of politics as opposed to national security -- resulting in the denial of due process and unremitting harassment that some victims describe as "torture."

Persons subjected to these abuses often describe themselves as victims of so-called organized community or gang stalking. I have tried to post two articles that describe this mainstream journalist's experiences as victim of such extrajudicial targeting and severe harassment that could be described as a form of torture. My posts keep getting taken down. I don't know if ACLU is doing this, or if its site is being hacked by a third party entity.

I once again will attempt to post links to my articles, and renew my plea to the ACLU to provide legal assistance to me and to the untold thousands of other Americans who have been subject to extrajudicial targeting and organized community/gang stalking at the apparent direction of government agencies.

OR IF LINKS ARE DISABLED: RE: "American Gestapo," "Targeting of U.S. Citizens," "Directed Energy Weapons"

Since my communications are subject to interception and tampering (surveillance is only the beginning, ACLU), I would appreciate hearing from ACLU blog readers; please post messages to the "comments" section of my articles. Thank you.


This is great news. I think breaking the silence that has come over society is part of the battle that needs to be won. Are there any court cases about breaking none disclosure agreements?

Gag orders that might be issued to persons on a local level? Eg. When the government asks someones friends or family to spy on them and they do not wish to comply, are there any cases out there that are looking into restoring their rights under those conditions?

Many targets of Gang STalking have individuals in their lives with these types of gag orders, and I am wondering what the outlook is for this?



The FBI has been the most abusive organization from the start. The only thing keeping them from doing more harm is their ineptness. This organization should be dismantled until a way con be figured out that insures decent, moral, and justice oriented people run it. As for the patriot act - the whole thing is unpatriotic, un-American and criminal

Vic Livingston ...

Team Obama must halt these inhumane abuses... AND THE ACLU MUST INTERVENE NOW ON VICTIMS' BEHALF


By VIC LIVINGSTON columnist,; former business reporter, Fox TV Phila., NY Daily News, Phila. Bulletin, St. Petersburg Times

• Extrajudicial targeting/punishment violates the U.S. constitution, and has enabled crimes against humanity. Government intelligence, security, law enforcement and revenue officials are said to be complicit.

The reality of domestic torture delivered by ideologically-driven, cold-hearted agents of government and their vigilante citizen operatives is finally gaining public exposure by way of first-hand accounts -- including that of this correspondent, a mainstream journalist who who has been "community stalked" and tortured by means of silent, potentially deadly radiation weaponry for nearly five years.

In a matter of weeks, this correspondent believes, operatives who have been involved in the purposeful "dosing" of American citizens with various forms of pulsed radiation emitted from so-called "directed energy weapons" and devices will begin to come forward, confirming reports of what's been euphemistically labeled as "electronic harassment" by victims of so-called "community stalking" or "gang stalking."

The "gang stalking" moniker trivializes what is an extensive, multi-level government campaign of extrajudicial targeting and punishment that victims say extends into Canada, the United Kingdom and other industrialized nations.

The "targets" are not limited to "terrorists" or drug traffickers. They include individuals who have been labeled by persons in positions of authority as "dissidents," "radicals," "whistle-blowers" or undesirables, perhaps due to their lifestyles, their ethnic heritage, or their religious or political beliefs. Many find themselves slandered and unjustly accused of wrongdoing (but, notably, not charged with any violation of the law). Journalists are among targeted classes; but many don't realize they are subject to pervasive surveillance, physical harassment and career sabotage until they are already ruined, professionally and personally.

These targeted persons -- and their families -- are subject to relentless harassment, including surreptitious entry into their homes and vandalism of their property, with surveillance data about their whereabouts and personal daily routines funneled to "community stalkers" who are recruited under the cover of government-funded community policing, town watch, and business-related anti-terrorism programs. The operations of these civilian vigilantes are supervised by agents of government, ranging from local police personnel to federal intelligence and security agents under whose direction these programs have been institutionalized.

Under the guise of performing "surveillance," the "targets" are subject to electromagnetic radiation of various forms -- ranging from microwave energy, sound waves, even X-rays and gamma rays. The government publicly claims that these "directed energy weapons," or "D.E.W.", are still in the experimental stage, or that working equipment is large and bulky, such as the Army's recent demonstration of a microwave weapon tagged with an innocuous-sounding sobriquet, the "Active Denial System." The government describes these radiation weapons as "non-lethal" -- when in fact, depending on the dosage of radiated energy delivered, they can stun, maim, burn, cause strokes or aneurysms, induce illness such as cancer, or kill.

These D.E.W. are being widely deployed, as noted in an article in the April 2008 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. The article discusses the potential adverse health effects of D.E.W. fire. The article also states that law enforcement personnel themselves may fall victim to these effects, should criminals or terrorists obtain D.E.W.

What the article does not state is that victims of "community stalking" have complained for several years that they are being tortured by painful D.E.W. radiation attacks, and that their health has been degraded by the cumulative effects of exposure to silent and potentially lethal beams of radiated energy.

These weapons share a characteristic that explains why few people outside of law enforcement are aware of their widespread deployment and usage: The radiation energy the weapons emit is silent and invisible, making possible "the perfect crime" -- the covert application of potentially lethal force.

Victims of D.E.W. attack have tried to appeal to law enforcement for justice, but to no avail. Indeed, that's part of the "M.O." -- when victims complain, they are routinely written off as delusional or mentally ill. Victims say that health care workers also cooperate in this persecution. Targeted persons may even be subject to attempts to commit them to psychiatric facilities, a means of accomplishing the underlying goal of extrajudicial targeting and punishment -- the removal of "targeted individuals" (and by extension, their families) from mainstream society.

Victims of extrajudicial targeting also charge that their family finances are sabotaged and ultimately expropriated by secret government programs ostensibly implemented to disrupt the financial dealings of terrorists and drug traffickers. In effect, they say, they are victimized by a parallel system of transaction processing sold to lawmakers as necessary components of the "war on terror" -- not as an ideologically-motivated tool of social control and political repression.




After 911, the news spoke of a terrorist cell in Salem, Massachusetts.
I have been terrorized since then for two phone calls, coupled with a
series of coincidences. My life hasn't, nor will it ever be the same
again. To read about it follow the link, and threads below. click on Message Board, then Salem Discussions, then the
following threads:











NY - Westchester - I've been a target of this hideous assault on my line for approximately two years. I had also contacted the ACLU and was told they could not help me? I was also told not to use last names on the phone? This was so far out of my realm of life experiences that it was impossible for me to accept. In retrospect, this may have been a diverted call, since now I know this is happening both coming in to my home and going. I continue to try to get the word out, which seems to be exactly what is being hindered. In my case, I believe these unlawful activities are to hinder prosecution, also called obstruction of justice.

This is the fourth day I have attempted to post to this blog -- I will also be contacting the ACLU again, via Certified Mail. This is insane -- and I want MY LIFE back.

Please help - get the word out - contact Congress and the Senante, Obama -- my basic site is I'll also be posting communications to the County, State, etc.

Vic Livingston


Yes, your calls probably are being divrted... even when you call a customer service number, a local tradesman, whatever. Please read my stories about the "extrajudicial punishment network" established by federal and local governments (a/k/a "organized community gang stalking").

All of my stories should be accessible at

Some of the "gang stalking" web sites are run by the very people who are tormenting you. When the postings on their boards turn sadistic, that's a clue.

Here's an idea: Pete Seeger lives in Croton-on-Hudson near Indian Point. He is a survivor of the 1950s blacklisting era. This is much worse, because the "targets" are being silently irradiated by radiation weapons and devices (also known as "directed energy weapons").

Try to contact Pete, perhaps through his Clearwater Foundation. Send him the links above and ask him to read through all of the ACLU blog entries here for other accounts and other links.

He's been there before. Maybe he can figure out how to get the ACLU to actively intervene on behalf of the thousands of unjustly "targeted" and silently tortured victims of this hideous American Genocide.

I would try emailing Pete myself, but my emails are subject to interception and rarely draw responses. (I am trying to get the ACLU's attention on telecommunications surveillance, malicious tampering, interception and harassment.)


Thanks --- I believe the ACLU is working at getting rid of obstacles -- like the Patriot Act and FOIL breaches. My ACLU link at my web site has been corrupted. But, if I go back after writing this it will probably be okay -- I got their MO down -- and that's to invalidate me (us) as valid sources. An ADA for the County made this inference. I also created another web site with the contacts and letters I have sent to people. This may sound a little off, but contact Oprah -- she has a secure web site email. The "secure" feature has recently been added. You'll be supporting what I've already written and help to validate this "unbelievable" insanity.

Pete Seeger - 60's music? I think I saw his story on PBS. Well like I've told my friends(?) -- we're making a comeback like Bob Woodward and we'll be marching on Washington but this time with our canes and wheelchairs.

ACLU's attention is justly drawn to breaches in The Constitution which prohibit torture and this is torture - here in the US of A!!!! One of my tag lines is America and Americans first. The torture includes all that you state plus + plus + plus. I have emailed the ACLU and have received my membership card. I am hopeful that they are hearing us -- S C R E A M! Like you I know my emails and even phone calls from people I know are being manipulated and monitored. I don't make this a secret and confront it head on... with my very special list of profanity -- just for them!@!!@@@

I will try to contact Pete Seeger - Croton is nearby.

Thanks again. I also support the belief that awareness is prevention. Contrary to Eleanor White's opinion evaluating the Psychological Harassment Web Site as bogus, I believe it is very valuable to targets in understanding the psychological strategy that is employed and this strategy is meant to disable - create inaction. This strategy is illegal - period.

Thanks again -- you're support is much appreciated.


Hawaiian style

Nice work ACLU. Keep it up.


I live in a building, a rooming house located in Salem Ma., that is owned and operated by Caritas Communities, who owns a number of such residences both in Boston, and on the North and South shores of Boston that are referred to as affordable housing for single persons. They are mostly inhabited by DMH clients, disabled persons and both active and recovering substance abusers.

A girl who lived down the hall from me was seen(with a witness) running from my door after cockroaches came under it; She also managed to get a domestic rat into my room; and on those two occasions the building manager attempted, first to put rat poison in my unit, which I prevented, and then he did put Combat Cockroach Killer around my dog’s food area, and under my stove’s range hood, where it would have dripped into my food when I cooked, instead of calling a professional exterminator, because I was the only resident with cockroaches and he knew it. The Salem Board of Health made him remove the pesticide, which he did not remove from the floor of the utility room next to me, and which the board of health refused to make him remove.
Shortly after that I would hear a fan turn on in the utility room; the fan was blowing the fumes from the toxin into my room as I slept. I then began to smell garlic being emitted from my pores even though I don’t eat much of it. In February of 2006 the Poison Control Center said that the symptoms that I was describing were consistent with arsenic poisoning. So, I dare say that these infestations are being facilitated in order to deliver pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that contain arsenic in order to cause harm or death to targeted individuals that have real or perceived problems, especially if those problems are a result of police misconduct, and ESPECIALLY if the target knows it.
The girl moved out after I went to the F.B.I...


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