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US telecom firm backed by judge in FBI staredown

A US telecoms firm has been facing off against the Federal Bureau of Investigation in court, challenging the federal authority over its consistent attempts to retrieve the data of private citizen’s – and impressively, it won.

Credo Mobile is the company in question, which has now hailed the victory as ” significant,” after a judge ordered the FBI to stop issuing “national security letters,” which are requests for citizen’s data that incorporate a gag order that prevents the recipient from telling anyone that it has even received it, let alone what it was for.

Michael Kieschnick, chief executive at Credo Mobile, said that this was “the most significant court victory for our constitutional rights since the dark day when George W Bush signed the Patriot Act”.

Credo Mobile
Credo hasn't been named specifically as part of the suit, but it is the most likely party

This ruling highlights a privacy concern that many worldwide citizens are beginning to feel because of interventions by governments and lobbyist groups. While Mark Zuckerberg might be keen for online privacy to die, not everyone is so keen.

Kieschnick continued (via The Guardian): “This decision is notable for its clarity and depth. From this day forward, the US government’s unconstitutional practice of using national security letters to obtain private information without court oversight and its denial of the first amendment rights of national security letter recipients have finally been stopped by our courts.”

There will be a 90 day grace period before this ruling goes into affect, where the federal government can appeal if it chooses to.

KitGuru Says: I’m all for this. Better a few guilty go free than innocents have their freedom impinged upon.

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