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Prosecutors Drop Appeal in Librarian Case

JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press | April 13 2006

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they will no longer seek to enforce a gag order on Connecticut librarians who received an FBI demand for records about library patrons under the Patriot Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought a lawsuit on behalf of the librarians, said it will identify them once court proceedings are completed in the next few weeks.

U.S. District Judge Janet Hall ruled last year that the gag order should be lifted, saying it unfairly prevented the librarians from participating in a debate over how the Patriot Act should be rewritten.

Prosecutors appealed, but U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said Wednesday that the appeal no longer made sense.

The librarian has already been identified in news reports and the Patriot Act was changed to include a procedure to request an exemption from the nondisclosure requirement, he said.

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