Monday, March 30, 2009

Thank god--surveillance power of the PATRIOT-ACT challenged in new legislation

Here. Strangely enough called subpoena power instead of searches and surveillance in the headline. National Security Letters, or NSLs are issued without the need for court approval, and gag people who supply information from talking about it. These letters can be used against libraries, credit card companies, internet service providers, for information about specific people. So how many people are deemed to be National Security threats? According to the article. there are an average of 50,000 requests per year. Inter Press Service has a more in depth account of it Here. The 50,000 figure comes from government sources, and deals with 2006 statistics, with 49,425 being the exact number, up 5% from 2005, which would mean that 2005 had around 46,660 requests. 57% of NSLs in 2006 were specifically against U.S. citizens: 28,172.

*oh, and USA PATRIOT-ACT is an acronym standing for the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001" and so capitalization is justified.

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