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FBI withdraws national security letter in Internet library settlement

[JURIST] The FBI has withdrawn a National Security Letter (NSL) [CRS backgrounder, PDF; FBI backgrounder] issued against an Internet library website in a settlement [ACLU press release; Internet Archive statement; EFF press release] announced Wednesday. The FBI had issued the NSL to the Internet Archive [archive website], seeking personal information about a particular publicly-unnamed site user; the Archive, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation [advocacy websites] subsequently filed a lawsuit challenging the NSL. Under the settlement, the FBI has lifted a gag order preventing the groups from speaking about the NSL and agreed to the unsealing of certain related documents [materials].

This was the first publicly reported challenge to an NSL served on a library since Congress approved changes in the Patriot Act [JURIST report] in 2006 restricting the FBI's power to demand library records. KTVU in San Francisco has more.

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