AP via Yahoo: A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval befo
September 5, 2007

7827the-patriot-act-posters.jpg AP via Yahoo:

A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."

The ACLU said it was improper to issue so-called national security letters, or NSLs — investigative tools used by the FBI to compel businesses to turn over customer information — without a judge's order or grand jury subpoena. Examples of such businesses include Internet service providers, telephone companies and public libraries. Read more...

We already know that private companies aided our government in illegally spying on Americans, and President Bush wanted immunity for these companies in the latest FISA bill that was passed last August as Congress was headed out of town. This ruling will make the president's argument a little tougher to make, but there's little doubt he'll do exactly as he pleases, whether it's legal or not...

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