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Ginsburg orders disclosure of Connecticut library NSL case records

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Oyez profile] Wednesday ordered [PDF] the full disclosure of records from a lawsuit filed by four Connecticut librarians against the FBI [official website] challenging a National Security Letter (NSL) [text, PDF; ACLU backgrounder] they received last year. The four librarians refused to turn over the library records requested in the letter, which sought the identity of all the patrons that used a particular computer during a 45 minute time period last February, and protested the government's insistence that the librarians not disclose that they received the NSL. In June, the FBI dropped its investigation into the library records [JURIST report], saying that it had gleaned the necessary information through other means and the threat sent from the library computer in question no longer posed a national security threat. Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] asked the Supreme Court to release the records in the case because the investigation had concluded.

The ACLU last year filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] on behalf of the library, and in September US District Judge Janet Hall lifted the gag order [JURIST report] restricting the four librarians from disclosing that they had received a NSL, ruling that it unfairly prevented librarians from participating in debate about the proper revision of the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] before the government renewed [JURIST report] the anti-terror legislation in March. Federal prosecutors abandoned appeal efforts [JURIST report] in April 2006. AP has more.

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