Civil Liberties

NSA, DHS Settle in Suit Fighting Back Against Their Attempt to Silence Parody Merchandise


Happy followup to a story I blogged back in November, about Dan McCall of "" who was warned by the NSA and DHS to cease selling merchandise parodying them–and who fought back with a lawsuit.

Now, reports, the agencies have settled:

According to a Maryland District Court settlement agreement executed Tuesday by the United States Attorney's office, the NSA will formally issue a letter to McCall's merchandise producer — — indicating its previous accusation that McCall's material was in violation of federal law was inaccurate.

McCall also will receive $500 to cover his court costs in filing the suit, with the help of Public Citizen, a government watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C. The agreement stipulates that McCall drop his suit and the NSA and DHS admit no liability to him.

"They basically gave me everything I was asking for," McCall said. "It's a victory for First Amendment rights. We're pretty excited. I know my lawyer is, and I am, too. We think it's going to make a little bit of a difference. I think this case showed the hush that can happen on the Web when people attempt to satire or write stuff…."

Good for McCall, and I hope his example emboldens others in the future.