Thursday, September 22, 2005

a blow for civil liberties - a win for transparency?

The court decision that found in favor of a librarian and the ACLU who argued that those affected by National Security Letters issued under the PATRIOT Act should be allowed to talk about it has been overruled by a higher court on one matter. The lower court judge gave the government a stay until Sept. 20th to argue that secrecy should be maintained while the case is decided. The higher court extended the stay and is giving the case an expedited appeal. So mum's the word. Except ...

The court itself has revealed who the plaintiff is! According to The York Times "A search of a court-operated Web site offered a pointer to the plaintiffs' identity. There, a case numbered 3:2005cv01256 is listed under the caption, 'Library Connection Inc. v. Attorney General.'" Gee, does this mean the court should be thrown in the slammer for violating the automatic gag order?

The stay will continue as the government appeals the lower court ruling. So though we know who's involved, that party still can't talk about it.



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