Judges Question Patriot Act in Library and Internet Case

The New York Times has coverage of a panel of federal judges in Manhattan who raised questions yesterday about secrecy provisions in the nation's antiterrorist act, expressing concerns that the act indefinitely silences those swept up in investigations.The judges did not immediately rule on the matter. But by their questions, the judges seemed skeptical of arguments by a Justice Department lawyer who said it was within constitutional limits for the government to prevent recipients of such requests from ever speaking about them.

"The troubling aspect from my standpoint is it's without limit," Senior Judge Richard J. Cardamone said while questioning the government's lead lawyer, Douglas Letter, about the nondisclosure provision in what is known as the USA Patriot Act. "There's no end to how long you have to keep this secret."

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