FBI phone snooping tactic ruled unconstitutional

  • Now, Putrajaya denies giving RM100 million grant to bank-rejected firm

    Putrajaya today denied that it had awarded NSE Resources Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NSERC) a RM100 million grant, as claimed by a PKR leader. Malaysiakini reported that Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohd Diah today revealed the list of grant recipients by his ministry. The list, which has more than... …

  • Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit
    Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit

    Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president to visit Malaysia for nearly 50 years, seeking to put decades of uneasy relations behind him as both cast wary eyes on a rising China. Obama – who visits Saturday-Monday – is expected to tout the US's friendship with the economically thriving moderate Muslim nation. As one of... …

  • Malaysian jailed 8 weeks for Singapore border dash

    A Malaysian motorist who tried to dodge Singapore's border control has been jailed for eight weeks after a judge rejected his pleas that he was lost and overheating in his car, officials said today. Koh Chin Had, a 42-year-old poultry seller, tailgated another car passing through a raised barrier on April 13, triggering a security lockdown on... …

  • KL school not allowed as Karpal memorial venue

    The Education Department has rejected the use of a school in Kuala Lumpur for a memorial service for Karpal Singh as it is perceived as a political event, said its organisers DAP in a press conference today. The memorial service was scheduled to be held tomorrow night at SJK(C) Chung Kwo near Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur, said acting DAP chairperson Tan Kok Wai. …

  • Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit
    Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit

    Student group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) is against US President Barack Obama's (pic) scheduled visit to Universiti Malaya on Sunday where he is expected to host a town hall session with young leaders from Southeast Asia. In a statement, the student group said that this was because Obama had disappointed many quarters, including... …

  • Cops to act on May 1 rally if 'public order threatened'

    The police would act against the May 1 anti-GST rally if it is found to be threatening public order, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department (CID) deputy chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said today. Khairi ( at podium ) said so when pressed by reporters on whether the cops were planning to make any pre-emptive arrests ahead of the rally, in order to prevent the rally from going on as planned. …

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... …

  • MB: Only 29 days of water left in Selangor Malaysiakini

    Although heavy rain led to flash floods in parts of the Klang Valley yesterday, the Selangor government has said that taps will run completely dry in 29 days if rationing is not continued. "For now, we must continue with rationing as the level at the main dam, the Sungai Selangor dam, is below the critical level and can only last 29 days if rationing is not conducted," Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement.   "We really hope the rakyat understands this situation and supports …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …