Prosecutors Drop Request for CT Library Records


Federal authorities have dropped their demand for library patrons' records after a judge lifted an earlier gag order on the Library Connection of CT. "First the government abandoned the gag order that would have silenced four librarians for the rest of their lives, and now they've abandoned their demand for library records entirely," said Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU. "While the government's real motives in this case have been questionable from the beginning, their decision to back down is a victory not just for librarians but for all Americans who value their privacy."

An interesting artifact is this National Security Letter from the F.B.I., just revealed today by The Raw Story.


Civil liberties victories are few and far between these days. Thanks for letting us know about this win.Putting my cynical hat back on, it's possible the feds worked out a deal with the library's ISP just like they did with the major telcos. Why risk publicity from a library when a corporation will just hand you whatever you want because it is risk averse?

What do you mean?

Today was a good day for civil liberties, the Supreme Court struck down a Vermont statute that prohibited speech in Randall v. Sorrell.

The now published National Security Letter was faxed to the ACLU nearly two months after receipt. A clear violation of the law. No doubt a multitude of others responded promptly to their FBI requests. Congratudations to the patriots and shame on Library Connection.

I've read that comment three times and I have no idea what it means.What violation of which law?

"Congratudations to the patriots and shame on Library Connection."Simple obedience is not a hallmark of American Patriotism. If it were:

  • We would still be English colonials.
  • Oliver North would not be lionized by many (not all) Republicans as a Patriot because of his violation of the arms embargo on Iran.
  • We would have to regard the civil rights leaders of the 1960s as unpatriotic because they helped overturn the unjust Jim Crow laws.

Obedience is demanded by every government. Patriotism is the love of one's country. Sometimes that demands obedience to the government, sometimes it demands fidelity to the nation's core values.So to me, the Library Connection is filled with patriots for upholding our country's core values. To the extent that others cooperated with NSLs in the sincere belief they were protecting their fellow citizens, I refuse to call them unpatriotic. We need to acknowledge that we all love our country, but we have differing visions on how to defend it and the core values that make it what it is.

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