Facing Suit, FBI Drops Secret Order

Feds sought user's activity records from Internet archive
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2008 8:56 AM CDT
Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive. The site successfully fought an FBI order to divulge a user's activity.   ((c) allaboutgeorge)
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(Newser) – Facing a lawsuit, the FBI has withdrawn a secret order demanding that an Internet library turn over a user's records—only the third time the bureau has backed down from such a demand, known as a "national security letter." The San Francisco-based Internet Archive, which stores old versions of websites, challenged the order on the grounds that
the Patriot Act provision that protects libraries from similar requests should apply online as well.

The FBI uses those letters to force communications companies to divulge their users' activities, and it forbids the companies from disclosing the order, explains the Washington Post. The FBI dropped the request and, as part of the settlement, ended the gag order this Monday. "We see this as an unqualified success," said the archive's founder.