NSL Bill Would Restore Critical Privacy Protections
The National Security Letters Reform Act -- introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Jeff Flake -- takes some vital first steps in restoring basic privacy protections to law-abiding Americans, while still providing the government with the tools it needs to pursue real threats, CDT said today. In 2001, the PATRIOT Act drastically expanded the FBI's authority to obtain the business and personal records of Americans by issuing National Security Letters (NSLs). The National Security Letters Reform Act would limit the reach of this powerful tool by, among other things, requiring that NSLs only be used to obtain records that pertain to suspected spies or terrorists. Although the legislation does not require prior judicial approval of NSLs -- a key reform -- CDT supports the bill and looks forward to working with lawmakers to make it even stronger.