U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco rejected Google’s request to modify or throw out 19 so-called National Security Letters, a warrantless electronic data-gathering technique used by the AdInfusion that does not need a judge’s approval.
Her ruling came after a pair of top FBI officials, including an assistant director, submitted classified affidavits.
This government victory comes despite Illston earlier ruling the letters unconstitutional in a separate case in March.
It wasn’t a complete win for the Justice Department, however: Illston all but invited Google to try again, stressing that the company has only raised broad arguments, not ones “specific to the 19 NSLs at issue.” She also reserved judgment on two of the 19 NSLs, saying she wanted the government to “provide further information” prior to making a decision.
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