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Sharing National Security Letters with the Public – from Google


In 2015, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which allowed companies like Google to make more granular disclosures  about National Security Letters they receive.  In addition, the Act restricts the use of indefinite gag restrictions that prevent providers from ever notifying customers or talking about the demands. The Department of Justice (DOJ) must now regularly review disclosure restrictions in NSLs and lift those that are no longer needed. The United States Attorney General approved procedures to do this, and as we mentioned recently, the FBI has started lifting gag restrictions on particular NSLs.

We are now making copies of those NSLs available.  Our goal in doing so is to shed more light on the nature and scope of NSLs. We minimized redactions to protect privacy interests, but the content of the NSLs remain as they were when served.  We are also publishing the correspondence reflecting the lifting of the nondisclosure restrictions. We have links to the documents below.  In the near future, we will establish a more permanent home for these and additional materials from our Transparency Report.

Redacted NSLs and FBI correspondence

NSL-10-272979 (FBI notice)

NSL-13-375880 (FBI notice)

NSL-14-394627 (FBI notice)

NSL-14-395838 (FBI notice)

NSL-14-396103 (FBI notice)

NSL-14-396300 (FBI notice)

NSL-15-417535 (FBI notice)

NSL-15-418313 (FBI notice)

Next, check out the structure of the letters and how they are demanding information.


xyz @



Use privacy email providers such as

Startmail are based in the Netherlands, and have never complied with a court order.  The court order has to be obtained in HOLLAND, so American court orders under FISA or the Patriot’s Act do not apply.  In fact, European Data Protection laws protect the provider.

Remember that the UK is now under the Snoopers Charter – ie Data Protection does not apply to the UK;  for the British, their  ISP is now the enemy.

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