Monday, September 12, 2005

Development in Challenge to Patriot Act Provision

There has been a development in a case brought by the ACLU in August 2005, after the FBI invoked a section of the Patriot Act to demand library records from a Connecticut member of the American Library Association through the use of what is known as a national security letter.

As reported by the New York Times, on Friday, Sept. 9., 2005, a federal district court judge in Connecticut granted an emergency request by the American Civil Liberties Union for a preliminary injunction that "would lift the federally imposed order that is keeping the nonprofit organization from identifying itself as the recipient of a recent request for patron information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation." However, the judge also granted a stay with the ruling, giving the U.S. attorney's office until Sept. 20 to persuade the federal Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to overturn the ruling. "In siding with the organization, Judge Hall said she was convinced that it had unique firsthand experience about the Patriot Act that it ought to be able to share publicly and would have greater authority in the debate if it spoke for itself, rather than had others speak for it."

For the ACLU view of this development, see "Federal Judge Orders FBI to Lift Patriot Act Gag on Librarian."

SOURCE: beSpacific

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