I hadn’t heard about this when it happened a few days ago (but then, I’m out of touch, so maybe everyone has heard about this). The ACLU filed suit over certain provisions in the Patriot Act, and were slapped with a gag order based on… The Patriot Act itself.
See this story (one of several I found) regarding the case and the gag order.
It wasn’t until three weeks after filing the lawsuit that the ACLU was allowed to talk about it publically.
The ACLU is objecting to the FBI’s ability to access the records of companies by simply issuing a “National Security Letter.” These letters do not require judicial oversight, unless a case is brought based on that evidence. This lets the FBI joyride through all sorts of information… what you’ve been buying, reading, drinking, etc. Phone records are also available to them. Man, this is the sort of power ol’ J. Edgar would have killed for.
As if things weren’t getting out of hand already, the Patriot Act supresses even the news that someone has challenged it in court. I’ll sleep sounder at night knowing that our nation won’t be threatened by the news that people think the Patriot Act was a really stupid thing for legislators to pass.