ChuckB writes "Orin Kerr, a Fourth Amendment scholar blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, notes that the mainstream media are reporting on Judge Victor Marrero's ruling on the "national security letter" provision of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as if it were a blow against the Patriot Act:
As I noted in my post below, a recent decision of the Southern District of New York struck down part of a 1986 law known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. How does the press report the decision? No mention of the 1986 law, of course. Instead, the press is reporting that the court struck down a major part of the Patriot Act, in a blow to the Bush Administration's overzealous response to terrorism. As I trace the history of the statute, this is quite inaccurate: the basic law was implemented in 1986, almost 20 years ago. To be fair, the Patriot Act did amend some language in this section; just not in a relevant way. As best I can tell, the court's decision does not rely on or even address anything in the Patriot Act. (See page 14-22 of the Court's opinion for the details of the statute's history.)
Kerr links to incorrect stories in the New York Times , the Washington Post , and the Associated Press.
Read the decision for yourself. A prior post by Kerr discusses the ruling in more detail and suggests that Marrero's ruling may lead to increased reliance on Section 215 of the Patriot Act."