US

T-shirt seller clashes with DHS, NSA

“It’s bad enough that these agencies have us under constant surveillance,” Levy said in a a Public Citizen press release on the case. “Forbidding citizens from criticizing them is beyond the pale.”

Levy will argue that the cease-and-desist orders violate McCall’s First Amendment rights to free speech, asking the court to declare that some provisions of the National Security Agency Act cannot be enforced to ban the parody products.

In the meantime, McCall is currently disregarding the federal agencies’ requests to cease manufacturing the products and is selling the products at CafePress.com.

He’s advertising in particular the final joke that pushed the NSA over the edge in 2011, according to the budding entrepreneur:  a fake NSA seal with the tagline: “Spying on you since 1952.”

The NSA told TheDCNF that “since March 2011, NSA has not sent a cease-and-desist letter to Zazzle regarding a mug the site was selling (with the NSA Seal).”

The agency did emphasize to TheDCNF Public Law 86-36, which forbids the use of the NSA title and seal or “any colorable imitation” without the written permission of the Director of the NSA.

The DHS did not respond request for comment.

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