"A federal judge struck down a key part of the USA Patriot Act on Thursday in a ruling that defended the need for judicial oversight of laws and bashed Congress for passing a law that makes possible "far-reaching invasions of liberty."
The ruling handed the American Civil Liberties Union a major victory in its challenge of the post-Sept. 11 law that gave broader investigative powers to law enforcement.
A March government report showed that the FBI issued about 8,500 national security letter, or NSL, requests in 2000, the year prior to passage of the USA Patriot Act. By 2003, the number of requests had risen to 39,000 and to 56,000 in 2004 before falling to 47,000 in 2005. The overwhelming majority of the requests sought telephone billing records information, telephone or e-mail subscriber information or electronic communication transactional records.
The judge said that through the NSLs, the government can unmask the identity of Internet users engaged in anonymous speech in online discussions, can obtain an itemized list of all e-mails sent and received by someone and can then seek information on those communicating with the individual.
"It may even be able to discover the web sites an individual has visited and queries submitted to search engines," the judge said..." (Read the entire article)
I know the more libertarian-leaning types hate the patriot Act as much as the ACLU does, but there are some folks that I don't mind Big Brother watching if there is just cause... Just cause for me would certainly constitute posting in jihadi websites. It would also be very lenient in divulging any nefarious internet activity by non-citizens living here... It's records, not an interment camp, yet Bush is a criminal and FDR a hero. Go figure.