FBI phone snooping tactic ruled unconstitutional

  • Muslims not encouraged to use ‘RIP’, says National Fatwa Council
    Muslims not encouraged to use ‘RIP’, says National Fatwa Council

    Hours after the death of Karpal Singh, Muslims were told by the National Fatwa Council today they were not encouraged to use the phrase “Rest in Peace" (RIP) to a non-Muslim because the term had Christian connotations. In a statement issued on its website, www.e-fatwa.gov.my, the National Fatwa Council said Muslims could express their... …

  • Amid furore over Karpal jibe, Perkasa distances itself from Zul Noordin
    Amid furore over Karpal jibe, Perkasa distances itself from Zul Noordin

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The right wing Malay group, Perkasa, has distanced itself from Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, who had earlier tweeted that the passing of veteran DAP politician Karpal Singh was... …

  • Legacy of the 'Tiger of Jelutong' will endure

    Karpal Singh's story may have come to an abrupt end this morning, but the author of his biography says the legacy of the 'Tiger of Jelutong' will endure in Malaysia, where he was a warrior in the fight for equality and justice. New Zealand journalist Tim Donoghue first met Karpal in Penang in 1987 and spent nearly 30 years researching the biography he wrote on the fearless lawyer and advocate, titled "Karpal Singh - Tiger of Jelutong", which was published in 2013. "I've done a few things in …

  • Soldiers injured as ceiling collapses during defence exhibition at PWTC
    Soldiers injured as ceiling collapses during defence exhibition at PWTC

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Two soldiers suffered minor injuries after the ceiling at one section of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) collapsed today, on the last day of the 14th Defence Services... …

  • Penang to give Karpal official send-off

    The Penang government will provide veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh an official send off.   According to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the Penang flag would be used to cover Karpal's cortege.   All state agencies will fly the Penang flags at half-mast for three days until the funeral on Sunday, said Lim.   He added that a public ceremony at the Dewan Sri Pinang will be held on Sunday from 9am to 11am for the public to pay their respects.    Lim said that the state exco had decided this during an …

  • Karpal to be given send-off with state honours
    Karpal to be given send-off with state honours

    After a lifetime of service to the country, the Penang government will acknowledge Karpal Singh's contributions by giving him a funeral with state honours. The Penang flag will be flown at half-mast until his funeral on Sunday. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the flag would also drape Karpal's casket. "We can't accord a state funeral as... …

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.

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  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …

  • My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind The Malaysian Insider
    My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind

    Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, who died in an accident early this morning, was in Kuala Lumpur to visit his son Gobind Singh Deo who was ill. A distraught Gobind said he was informed of the accident at 2.15am today, and he and his wife rushed to the scene where he saw his father's mangled car and his father's body. "My brother Ramkarpal was... …

  • Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains The Malaysian Insider
    Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains

    As the nation mourns the passing of a great politician, BN MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad insulted the late Karpal Singh by posting a picture of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face as he lay in his Toyota Alphard following a tragic accident this morning. Along with the Facebook picture was a newspaper cutting on Karpal being opposed to the... …