National Security Letters

A national security letter (NSL) is an administrative subpoena issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in authorized national security investigations "to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities" (i.e., spying). 18 U.S.C. § 2709(b). Federal law (Electronic Communications Privacy Act (18 U.S.C. § 2709), Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1681u and 1681v), and Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 U.S.C. § 3414), authorizes the FBI to seek such information that is "relevant" to an authorized national security investigation. By law, NSLs can request only non-content information, for example, transactional records and phone numbers dialed.
Posts about National Security Letters
  • Global Government Requests Report

    … to rebuild people’s trust in the Internet. While we recognize that governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety and security, we believe all government data requests must be narrowly tailored, proportionate to the case in review, and subject to strict judicial oversight. As such, we support recent efforts in the U.S. Senate to pass…

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