Nick Merrill, the first American to stand up and challenge the FBI’s National Security Letters, interviewed by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds

by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
originally published by Boiling Frogs Post
February 14, 2011

Nick (Nicholas) Merrill joins us to recount his ‘surreal’ experience as the first American to stand up and challenge the FBI’s National Security Letters, living under FBI gag orders for the past six years, and being identified only as ‘John Doe’ in court documents. Mr. Merrill relates what made him resist the FBI order, and discusses the unconstitutionality of these practices- government warrantless surveillance and searches, and violations of American’s liberties and privacy. He talks about the implications of the issuance of 50,000 FBI national security letters per year seeking information on ordinary Americans and US businesses, our nation’s descent towards a police state, the importance of speaking out and resisting these government practices that violate our constitutional rights, our moral obligation to protect our liberties and privacy as a nation, his goals to raise public awareness on these issues, and ways to deal with them through his recently established nonprofit organization, and more!

Nick Merrill is the founder of Calyx Internet Access and the Calyx Institute. He was the first person to file a constitutional challenge against the National Security Letters statute in the USA PATRIOT Act. After receiving a National Security Letter from the FBI, he sued the FBI and DOJ and became the plaintiff in the lawsuit Doe v. Ashcroft filed on behalf of a formerly unknown ISP owner by the ACLU against the U.S. federal government. Mr. Merrill never complied with the FBI’s NSL request, and eventually – several years into the lawsuit – the FBI decided it no longer wanted the information it had demanded and dropped its demand for records. However for several years after dropping the demand, the FBI continued to prevent him from publicly speaking about the NSL, or even from being publicly identified as the recipient of the NSL. Because National Security Letters are accompanied by an open-ended, life-long gag order, Merrill was unable to be identified in court papers as the plaintiff in the case and instead was referred to as “John Doe”. In 2010, after more than 6 years, Nick Merrill was partially released from his gag order and allowed to reveal his identity, although he still cannot reveal what information the FBI sought from him.

Here is our guest Nick Merrill unplugged!

see

Pacified and Lulled, Still Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing by Sibel Edmonds

House Blocks Parts Of Patriot Act Extension by Bruce Gagnon + Kucinich: Give Me Liberty Or Give Me A Wiretap!

Is the First Amendment Dead & Gone? You bet! by Sibel Edmonds

video

On Natl Security Letters:Sen Rand Paul “There Are A Couple Of Things That REALLY Bother Me About The Patriot Act”

from the archives:

Gagged for 6 Years, Nick Merrill Speaks Out on Landmark Court Struggle Against FBI’s National Security Letters

Secret reports, Secret budgets, Secret operations, Secret courts … A Secret Government! by Sibel Edmonds

State Secrets Privilege: The Puppets & Puppet Masters by Sibel Edmonds

One thought on “Nick Merrill, the first American to stand up and challenge the FBI’s National Security Letters, interviewed by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds

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