September 29, 2007 - National Security Letter Reform Act
The use of National Security Letters (NSL) has been around since 1978, but the topic has received renewed interest since the passing of the PATRIOT Act shortly after the September 11th attacks. Issued by the FBI and other government agencies, the leter requires organizations to turn over records and data pertaining to individuals with no probable cause or judicial oversight. In addition those service with NSLs are under a gag order and risk criminal charges if they talk.
Over the past couple years, opponents of the NSLs believe the federal government is overusing the letters to collect information without oversight, while proponents believe in the need for larger latitude in their use due to the current war on terror. The National Security Letter (NSL) Reform Act of 2007 seeks to establish reasonable procedural protections for the use of national security letters.