Thursday, January 26, 2006

Standoff at the library

Library tells FBI to get a warrant

Law enforcement and Newton Free Library officials were embroiled in a tense standoff for nearly 10 hours last week when the city refused to let police and the FBI examine library computers without a warrant.

Police rushed to the main library last Wednesday after it was determined that a terrorist threat to Brandeis University had been sent from a computer at the library.

But requests to examine any of its computers were rebuffed by library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Mayor David Cohen on the grounds that they did not have a warrant.

While one law enforcement official said he was "totally disgusted" with the city’s attempt to hold up a time-sensitive investigation of potential terrorist threat, Cohen is defending the library’s actions, calling it one of Newton’s "finest hours."

"We showed you can enforce the law ... without jeopardizing the privacy of innocent citizens," Cohen said.

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