May 7th, 2008

buncha savages

(no subject)

Internet Archive proclaims victory against secret FBI demand for records

The FBI has backed down on a secret request for information about a user of the Internet Archive digital library, thanks to a legal challenge from two prominent advocacy groups.
The situation with the Internet Archive began last November, when the FBI served founder Brewster Kahle with an NSL [National Security Letter] seeking an unspecified individual's name, address, and "any electronic communication transactional records" (i.e., not the content of communications, but logs of activity) pertaining to the user. Kahle, who is an EFF board member, believed the request was overbroad and decided to challenge the query in court, handing over only publicly available documents in the mean time.
"It appears that every time a national security letter recipient has challenged an NSL in court and forced the government to justify it, the government has ultimately withdrawn its demand for records," said Melissa Goodman, an ACLU staff attorney who worked on the case, said in a statement. "In the absence of much needed judicial oversight--and with recipients silenced and the public in the dark--there is nothing to stop the FBI from abusing its NSL power."

(emphasis mine)