What It’s Like To Get A National-Security Letter

Maria Bustillos for The New Yorker:

I spoke with Brewster Kahle, the founder of the nonprofit Internet Archive, perhaps the greatest of our digital What It’s Like To Get A National-Security Letterlibraries, and of the Wayback Machine, which allows you to browse an archive of the Web that reaches back to 1996. He is one of very few people in the United States who can talk about receiving a national-security letter. These letters are one of the ways government agencies, in particular the F.B.I., can demand data from organizations in matters related to national security. They do not require prior approval from a judge, only the assertion that the information demanded is relevant to a national-security investigation. Recipients of a national-security letter typically are not allowed to disclose it. More . . .