In re National Security Letter 2013 (13-1165)

In March of 2013, EFF won a major court victory on behalf of an unnamed telephone company when Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California granted EFF's petition to set aside a controversial national security letter (NSL), declaring that 18 U.S.C. § 2709 and parts of 18 U.S.C. § 3511 were unconstitutional. The very same day that the district court issued that order striking down the statute, a second EFF client filed a similar petition asking the same court to declare the NSL statute to be unconstitutional and to set aside the two NSLs that it received.

Notwithstanding the fact that it had already struck down the NSL statute on constitutional grounds in EFF's first NSL case, but indicating that it would be up to the Ninth Circuit to evaluate whether that evaluation was correct, the district court denied EFF's client's petition and ordered them to comply with the remaing NSL in the interim. This denial of EFF's client's petition, which EFF argues is improper and inconsistent with the First Amendment, has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit, with briefing to begin in early 2014.

This latest challenge is (as of January of 2014) the second of three active EFF legal challenge to the FBI's NSL authority. Links to the related NSL cases are here and here.

Update: Oral argument occurred on October 8, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 4 of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals located at 95 Seventh Street in San Francisco. You can listen to the argument here http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view.php?pk_id=0000013407

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