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Justice Department Sues Telco For Daring to Challenge its Secret Demands For Private Information

The US Justice Department really does seem to be completely drunk with power these days. We've written before about how the FBI is famous for abusing the powers of "National Security Letters" (NSLs) that allow them to demand information from service providers, financial firms and the like -- with a built-in gag order. A few years ago, we wrote about an ISP, Calyx, which challenged an NSL it received, and had to fight the DOJ in complete secrecy for years, until the DOJ basically dropped the request and allowed Calyx's Nicholas Merrill to go public with the details of the legal fight.

However, in news revealed this week, there is a second telco that isn't just challenging an NSL -- which is not only expressly allowed under the law, though now the DOJ is required to tell recipients this fact with the NSL -- but also challenging the whole NSL process itself. In response, amazingly, the Justice Department sued the telco, claiming that it failed to hand over the information requested in the NSL, as required by law. There's no way to look at this other than as a vindictive move by the DOJ.

Instead of responding directly to that challenge and filing a motion to compel compliance in the way the Justice Department has responded to past challenges, government attorneys instead filed a lawsuit against the telecom, arguing that by refusing to comply with the NSL and hand over the information it was requesting, the telecom was violating the law, since it was “interfer[ing] with the United States’ vindication of its sovereign interests in law enforcement, counterintelligence, and protecting national security.”


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Any idea who this company is?

It seems to be a big secret.

I never seen so much of the DHS, Justice department, CIA

all these illegal bodies of government being attacked and criticized so much now, we have to be grateful we have gotten this far, look where being optimistic got Ron Paul, he's is going to be president of the united states, Last year no one thought we would get here, because half of us didn't even know who Ron Paul was lol, have hope, guardians of liberty watch over us, no really

Privacy is quickly becoming a relic of the past..

Like the Constitution, personal responsibility and individual liberty.