Cripes, I am paranoid. Put "receiving" with "national security" and it brings to mind apocalyptic marks of beasties and things of that sort. It's a pretty quick leap of thought but that's where I specialize, I think!
That said, this is something real, the founder of the Internet Archive describes what it was like to get a national security letter and challenge the govt about it. It's creepy as hell: the guy can't tell his family about it, because he can't tell anybody
about it, evar.
It doesn't sound anything like the US when we used to be the good guys. This kind of secrecy and distrust doesn't fade in a moment, either. It stays and roams around and, if it's accepted to enough of an extent for a long enough time, becomes another tradition that doesn't change.
I can't say I view that as a good thing, but the people who come up with it aren't psychopathic killers, either, at least for the most part. They're just human, like the rest of us.What it's like to get a national security letter