Part of the USA Patriot Act is unconstitutional because it allows the FBI to demand information from Internet service providers without judicial oversight or public review, said a federal judge in New York City. The Washington Post says the ruling is one of several judicial blows to the Bush administration’s antiterrorism policies in recent months. In a 120-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero found in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued on behalf of an unidentified Internet service provider challenging the FBI’s use of a type of administrative subpoena known as a national security letter. Such letters do not require court approval and bar targeted companies from disclosing that the demands were ever made.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that detainees held as “enemy combatants” may challenge their confinement through the U.S. courts. Two rulings by federal courts in California struck down portions of statutes making it a crime to provide “material support” to terrorists.