Friday, May 09, 2008 fights FBI demand for user info — and wins | ZDNet Government | fights FBI demand for user info — and wins ZDNet Government by Richard Koman

“After a protracted battle with the FBI, the Internet Archive has won the retraction of what it says was an unconstitutional national security letter demanding personal information on an individual. Under the settlement with the FBI, Internet Archive Brewster Kahle as well as lawyers from the ACLU and EFF are now free to discuss the case.

“The free flow of information is at the heart of every library’s work. That’s why Congress passed a law limiting the FBI’s power to issue NSLs to America’s libraries,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “While it’s never easy standing up to the government — particularly when I was barred from discussing it with anyone — I knew I had to challenge something that was clearly wrong. I’m grateful that I am able now to talk about what happened to me, so that other libraries can learn how they can fight back from these overreaching demands.”

The Archive responded to the NSL demands for information on the user by submitting only publicly available information and filing a suit challenging the demand. The settlement shows, once again, that the Justice Department is far exceeding its authority in its use of these letters.

Since the Patriot Act was passed in 2001, relaxing restrictions on the FBI’s use of the power, the number of NSLs issued has seen an astronomical increase, to nearly 200,000 between 2003 and 2006. EFF’s investigations have uncovered multiple NSL misuses, including an improper NSL issued to North Carolina State University. ”

I have files stored in the Internet Archive through Ourmedia. I doubt that I'm what they were looking for, but you never know. Most of us would sleep easier if they had to convince a judge a crime was committed before they can rummage through our lives.

con·cept: fights FBI demand for user info — and wins | ZDNet Government |