Government Gag Exposed

Document Date: August 19, 2004

The National Security Letter (NSL) section of the USA Patriot Act contains a gag provision that prohibits anyone who receives an NSL from "disclos[ing] to any person that the [FBI] has sought or obtained access to information or records."

The gag provision continues to prevent the ACLU from disclosing to the public a vast amount of innocuous, non-sensitive information about our constitutional challenge to the NSL power. For example, the government has demanded that the ACLU redact a sentence that described its anonymous client's business as "provid[ing] clients with the ability to access the Internet." The government even insisted that the ACLU black out a direct quote from a Supreme Court case in our brief.

The ACLU continues to contest the government's redactions in the case. The documents below highlight speech that the government suppressed in the case, but the Court later allowedus to disclose. Here is what the government didn't want you to see.

> Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
> Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment
> Memorandum in Support of Motion to Unseal Redacted Documents
> Declaration of Anthony Romero
> Declaration of Client
> ACLU Letter Disputing Government Redactions (5/14/04)
> ACLU Letter to Judge Clarifying Motion to Unseal Request (4/30/04)
> ACLU Press Release (4/26/04)
> Government Letter to Judge Defending Redactions (5/12/04)
> Government Letter to Judge (4/30/04)
> Government Letter to Judge (4/29/04)
> GovernmentLetter to Judge (4/26/04)

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