Some WI state libraries purging records

The Wisconsin Library Association has warned libraries about the new federal Patriot Act, leading some to purge circulation records to protect privacy, and others to begin warning patrons about the law’s effects.

Mark Corallo, a Justice Department spokesman in Washington, D.C., said last week that to get a search warrant under the Patriot Act, the FBI must show evidence to a federal judge that the records being sought would involve international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, which would be foreign spying.

“The FBI,” he said, “is prohibited from conducting investigations of U.S. citizens solely on the basis of activities based on the First Amendment. We can’t go to the library and say, ‘We want to see all the records.’ “

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