Last November the FBI served a National Security Letter (NSL) on the electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)filed suit to force them to withdraw the NSL. The EFF reports that the FBI has been forced to withdraw the NSL and the gag order, permitting the EFF to describe the illegal actions of the FBI.
The gag orders accompanying such NSL's on libraries have no effective function beyond preventing the libraries and the targets of the NSL's to fight back against FBI overreaching. They are a totally administrative power given to the FBI designed to prevent negative publicity and Court challenge. The recipients of such a letter can't even discuss it with their congressional representatives.
This is just another panicky reaction to 9/11 by irrational frightened Republicans who feel powerless when someone is permitted to disagree with them. It is also a violation of the Constitution, but with the way the conservatives have packed the federal judiciary with their fellow frightened rats, it may take a generation for the courts to begin to properly enforce the Constitution. Roberts, Thomas and Scalia need to go, and the judiciary needs to be cleaned out of members of the Federalist Society. They are a special interest who represent only themselves to the detriment of the American people and the U.S. Constitution.
The failure of this NSL letter and the gag order is another victory for America and the Constitution. We need more of them.