Feds Drop Request for Library Records
Federal Authorities Drop Their Demand for Records From Library Computer in Connecticut
STAMFORD, Conn. Jun 26, 2006 (AP)— Federal authorities have dropped their demand for records from a library computer, but not without warning the librarians who refused to release them that under other circumstances their failure to cooperate "could have increased the danger of terrorists succeeding."
The FBI said Monday that it has discounted a potential terrorism threat that prompted it to seek records last year from a computer at one of 26 Connecticut libraries that are part of a consortium called the Library Connection.
Four librarians on the consortium's board who received the demand resisted, which the FBI said slowed its work.
"In this case, because the threat ultimately was without merit, that delay came at no cost other than slowing the pace of the investigation," John Miller, the FBI's assistant director, said in a statement. "In another case, where the threat may be real, the delays incurred in this investigation could have increased the danger of terrorists succeeding."
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the librarians who received the demand for records, said the librarians might have been willing to comply with a similar demand had it been approved by a judge.
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