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Connecticut Library Group Protects Patron Records
Posted by Lori Ayre on June 25, 2006
"Everyone has the responsibility to make sure the government plays by the rules."
George Christian, Executive Director of Library Connection
Last sumer The Library Connection (a consortium of 26 Connecticut libraries) received the infamous "National Security Letter" asking for everything they had on one public access computer (based on the IP address) on one day for a period of 45 minutes (see the The Letter here).
With help from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Library Connection managed to fight the request. First they focused on fighting the gag provision (you can't tell a soul you got one of the NSL letters). Ultimately, the government gave up the fight and dropped the request altogether.
Per Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU. "While the government's real motives in this case have been questionable from the beginning, their decision to back down is a victory not just for librarians but for all Americans who value their privacy."