fstyke writes "An article in the Washington Post (anonymous for obvious reasons) describes the trauma the president of a small US IT company faces after receiving a National Security Letter. This is sent by the FBI demanding information (140000+ have been sent between 2003/2005 according to the article). Makes for an interesting read of the side effects of receiving such a letter and its requirements for the recipient to remain silent about even the fact he/she has received it.'The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand -- a context that the FBI still won't let me discuss publicly -- I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that the letter sought information to which the FBI was not entitled.'"