Kurt Opsah, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said it could be many more months before the appeals court rules on the constitutionality of the letters, which the FBI sends to telecommunication companies, Internet service providers, banks and others amid terror investigations. The letters are used to collect unlimited kinds of sensitive, private information, such as financial and phone records.
It was unclear from the judge’s ruling what type of information the government sought to obtain with the letters. It was also unclear who the government was targeting.
In March, Illston found that the FBI’s demand that recipients refrain from telling anyone — including customers — that they had received the letters was a violation of free speech rights.