FBI phone snooping tactic ruled unconstitutional

  • 3,000 turn up at emotional memorial service for Karpal
    3,000 turn up at emotional memorial service for Karpal

    It was a night of mixed emotions at a memorial for the late Karpal Singh which was attended by more than 3,000 people at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall yesterday. There were tears, laughter, defiance, grief and above all, respect from those who begin arriving as early as 6pm to pay their respects to the late veteran lawyer and... …

  • We ask no favours, and will ‘fight till the end’ to clear Karpal’s name, says Gobind
    We ask no favours, and will ‘fight till the end’ to clear Karpal’s name, says Gobind

    Karpal Singh's family does not expect any "favours" from Putrajaya in their appeal against the late lawyer and politician's conviction and sentence for sedition, his son Gobind Singh Deo told a crowd of more than 3,000 last night. The Puchong MP said he was aware of growing calls for Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to drop the... …

  • Susan Rice to meet Anwar during Obama visit
    Susan Rice to meet Anwar during Obama visit

    Top White House national security aide Susan Rice (pic) will meet opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when President Barack Obama's regional tour reaches Malaysia, a senior US official told AFP yesterday. Obama is set to arrive tomorrow in what will be the first visit to Malaysia by a sitting US president in nearly half a century. He... …

  • Report: Selangor offer to water companies inferior
    Report: Selangor offer to water companies inferior

    PETALING JAYA, April 25 — The Selangor government offer of RM9.65 billion to nationalise water companies in the state is significantly less attractive compared to previous buyouts by Pengurusan... …

  • At memorial service, Karpal remembered as father, lawyer, friend
    At memorial service, Karpal remembered as father, lawyer, friend

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 ― In a scene reminiscent of last Sunday's state funeral in Penang, thousands turned up at last night’s memorial service to pay respects to the late Karpal Singh, a man... …

  • Gobind: No need to withdraw conviction, I will fight for Karpal
    Gobind: No need to withdraw conviction, I will fight for Karpal

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 ― Gobind Singh Deo vowed last night to fight tooth and nail to clear Karpal Singh’s name, saying there was no need to ask the Attorney-General to withdraw his late father’s... …

A US judge has ordered the FBI to stop its "pervasive" use of National Security letters to secretly snoop on phone and email records, ruling Friday that the heavily used tactic was unconstitutional.

The order issued by US District Court Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco came as a surprising blow to a measure heavily used by the administration of President Barack Obama in the name of battling terrorism.

The Patriot Act passed after the devastating September 11 attacks gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation strong authority to order that people's telecom records be handed over, without such requests having to be disclosed.

But in her ruling, Illston said evidence indicated that tens of thousands of NSLs are sent out every year, and that 97 percent of them are fettered with the provision that recipients never mention the requests.

"This pervasive use of nondisclosure orders, coupled with the government's failure to demonstrate that a blanket prohibition on recipients' ability to disclose the mere fact of receipt of an NSL is necessary to serve the compelling need of national security, creates too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted," Illston said in her written decision.

Illston set her ban on NSLs to take effect in 90 days to allow US lawyers to appeal the decision given "the significant constitutional and national security issues at stake."

The judge's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in 2011 by Internet rights law group Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of an unnamed telecom company.

"We are very pleased that the court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman.

"The government's gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools."

It was the potential for gag orders accompanying NSLs to violate the First Amendment right of free speech that prompted the ruling, according to Zimmerman.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …