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Google ordered to obey FBI’s warrantless data requests

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A federal judge has rejected Google’s request to not have to comply with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) warrantless requests for users’ data records, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

In a May 28 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston decided that the national security letters issued by the bureau were not unconstitutional, as the tech company had argued, but delayed her ruling pending a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Illston ruled that after receiving sworn statements from two high-ranking FBI officials, she determined that the bureau followed proper procedure in issuing 17 of 19 letters to Google. Until the federal appeals court issues its own decision on the matter, Google will have to comply with the bureau’s data requests.

The letters are sent to internet service providers, banks, and telecommunications companies as part of FBI counter-terrorism organizations seeking private data like phone and banking records.

According to Courthouse News Service, Illston ruled that there were “significant constitutional defects” in the FBI’s use of the letters, and ordered it to stop ordering recipients not to discuss getting the letters.

A Google spokesperson did not comment on whether the company will file an appeal.

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Evangelical calls out Christian right for continuing to oppose therapeutic weed: ‘America is sick’

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In a column for the New York Times, religion writer Jonathan Merritt made the Christian case to evangelicals who aligned themselves with the Republican Party during the Ronald Reagan era to accept that therapeutic marijuana could ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of pain sufferers -- and that Jesus would approve.

According to Merritt, who admits he grew up the son of an evangelical pastor, that he was raised to believe that "marijuana was just one more sinful tool that the devil used to shred America’s moral fabric."

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2020 Election

BUSTED: Trump super PAC accused of lying to government about the source of mysterious $325,000 donation

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According to a report from the Daily Beast's "Pay Dirt" investigative unit, a Super PAC affiliated with President Donald Trump has some explaining to do about a $375,000 donation that was wrongly attributed to one company -- but wire transfers tell a completely different story.

As the Beast notes, "The super PAC America First Action reported receiving a $325,000 contribution last year from a company called Global Energy Producers. But records released in federal court this week indicate that contribution came from an entirely different company," adding that the discrepancy was pointed out by the  Campaign Legal Center which labeled it a violation of federal campaign-finance laws.

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Senate delivers stinging bipartisan rebuke to Trump — and blocks Saudi arms sales

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The Trump White House suffered a stinging defeat on Thursday when a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers voted to block sales of American arms to Saudi Arabia.

The vote in favor of blocking the arms sales received affirmative votes from all Senate Democrats, as well as votes from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Todd Young (R-IN).

Graham, who is usually one of President Donald Trump's staunchest allies, said he voted for the bill because he believed the United States could not ignore the behavior of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, as well as the Saudi government's killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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