A U.S. federal appeals court has reportedly upheld nondisclosure rules which allow the FBI to secretly issue surveillance orders for customer data to communications firms, much to the chagrin of those who advocate privacy. Several major technology firms, including Microsoft and Twitter have mounted an array of legal challenges in recent years to U.S. government restrictions which limit what they can disclose, both to affected users and to the public, about the surveillance requests they receive. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that policies that permit the FBI to send national security letters under gag orders are appropriate and do not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s free speech protections.
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