Tag Archives: FBI

When the Internet Archive gets a National Security Letter

This post is off topic for this blog, so ignore it if you like. A number of people connected with archives and preservation activities read this, though, and I think it’s important for people to know that the Internet Archive was subjected to a National Security Letter and successfully fought it, thus becoming one of the very few recipients of these Orwellian orders to be allowed to talk about it. Please read the article.

The FBI has issued tens of thousands of National Security Letters. If you’re the target of one, you can’t tell anyone, not even your own family. The Patriot Act originally prohibited people from even talking to a lawyer about them, but that ban was struck down. I have never been issued a National Security Letter, so I can tell you I haven’t. If I had been, I couldn’t say anything, and if you asked me, I’d have to say, “I can’t answer that.”