In a case brought against the Department of Justice by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Security Archive and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Judge Victor Marrero, of the District of Columbia, has determined that the rules under the Patriot Act that allowed the FBI to secretly request telephone, internet and email logs without applying for a warrant are barred by the constitution. Judge Marrero stated that the this practice offended constitutional principles of checks and balances, violated the guarantee of free speech, and that the FBI's justifications were "wholly inadequate." Additionally, the judge concluded that the government would also have to hand over evidence requested on under the Freedom of Information act or explain why it would not.
"Today's ruling deals a blow to the administration's sweeping and often unfounded secrecy claims," said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "When documents are withheld under the Freedom of Information Act, the government must have a better excuse for keeping the documents secret than 'because we said so'."