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On Tuesday, December 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit established important restrictions on the power of the federal government to impose gag orders on recipients of National Security Letters (NSLs). Currently, the recipient of an NSL cannot challenge a gag order for one year, and the chances for success are limited by a provision of the law that requires judges to regard as "conclusive" government assertions that secrecy is necessary to protect national security. The Second Circuit ruled that these provisions limit First Amendment rights.