Saturday, January 28, 2006

Library Insists FBI Provide a Warrant before Seizing Computers

From American Libraries Online:

Police and FBI officials rushed to the Newton (Mass.) Free Library January 18 after determining that an alleged threat against Brandeis University had been e-mailed from one of the library’s computers. But Library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Newton Mayor David Cohen were adamant that law-enforcement officers comply with state privacy law and obtain a search warrant before they seized the equipment.

Glick-Weil told American Libraries that about 15 police officers visited the library, including three FBI agents who “tried to convince us to let them have the computer,” one of some 20 on the library’s second-floor information technology center, without a warrant. The mayor worked with U.S. attorneys in getting the authorization, and the FBI returned to the library with the papers around 11:30 that night after the library had closed. Glick-Weil said they took three of the library’s public computers.
See the full story here.

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