"How am I supposed to go to a judge if the third party is gagged...?"

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Greatest hits for your Friday afternoon: internet freedom activist Jake Appelbaum questions the FBI's deputy general counsel on secret Patriot Act subpoenas, called "National Security Letters" (NSLs). Appelbaum has been a target of the secret, gag-imposed orders. 

He asks the FBI counsel if there is judicial oversight over the NSL process. Watch to hear what she says. Her answer should alarm us all and remind us that fights like the upcoming battle over the FISA amendments act reauthorization are really big deals. These aren't just arcane laws; they affect real people, in tangible ways.

If this is all a little meaningless to you, read this background on NSLs. Basically the secret subpoenas allow the government to force third party holders of our private information to hand over our data to the FBI. As we've written about here, the third party content holders that receive NSLs could include doctors and even mental health professionals like therapists and social workers.

Here's the full segment of the DemocracyNow! show during which the above clip was aired. It's well worth watching if you have some time.

Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.

Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.

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