by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jan 15th 2009 5:20pm
The EFF and the ACLU has filed yet another lawsuit against the government, highlighting another scary abuse of power that feels straight out of a police state, rather than the free society we supposedly live in. Specifically, the FBI and other law enforcement officials raided the offices of two different activist organizations and seized all of their computers. There are two issues here that are important. First, if the FBI was concerned about the computers being used in commission of a crime, they easily could have followed the same policies used to get records off of computers at libraries (part of the issue is that these organizations offer public access computers to folks visiting their offices). The second issue is that both organizations act as publishers, and federal law makes it clear that the government can't just seize computers of publishers except in extremely narrow circumstances. So, in either circumstance, the Feds should not have seized the computers.
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