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Connecticut Librarian Testifies Before Senate on NSL

George Christian, Executive Director of the Library Connection and former plaintiff in John Doe v. Gonzales, testified today before a Senate Subcommittee on the harmful effects of receiving a National Security Letter (NSL), a component of the USA PATRIOT Act, from the FBI.

Library Connection is a non-profit cooperative of 27 libraries in Connecticut. In 2005, the group received an NSL from the FBI, along with its accompanying perpetual gag order, demanding library records. This was shortly after John Ashcroft declared librarians “hysterical” with their concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act being used in libraries.

Library Connection challenged the constitutionality of the NSL and its perpetual gag and eventually the FBI withdrew its appeal to keep their identities hidden after Federal District Court Judge Janet C. Hall declared the gag order unconstitutional.

Christian, spoke on behalf of himself and three others, Janet Nocek, Barbara Bailey, and Peter Chase who were equally involved. Download these Word documents:

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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