gag orders unconstitutional says federal court. duh, says jessamyn.

Federal court finds gag order provision of Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act [a gag order eeerily close to the one found in Section 215] to be an “unconstitutional prior restraint” on free speech.

The ACLU noted that the Patriot Act provision was worded so broadly that it could effectively be used to obtain the names of customers of websites such or Ebay, or a political organization’s membership list, or even the names of sources that a journalist has contacted by e-mail…. Judge Marrero’s decision enjoins the government from issuing National Security Letters or from enforcing the gag provision. The judge stayed his ruling for 90 days in order to afford the government an opportunity to raise objections in the district court or the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.