Privacy and Library Records Update: USA Patriot Act



Law and Guidelines


Patriot Act and


United States. Department of Justice.

Attorney General's Guidelines. General Crimes, Racketeering and Terrorism Investigations, FBI Undercover Operations, Confidential Informants, Lawful Warrantless Monitoring of Verbal Communications  May 30, 2002


Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Federal Statutes Related to Searching and Seizing Computers - Redline Showing Changes Resulting from 2001 USA PATRIOT Act 79 pp. Shows redlining of law


Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Field Guidance on New Authorities That Relate to Computer Crime and Electronic Evidence Enacted in the USA Patriot Act of 2001 15 pp.


Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS)  The Patriot Act A National Perspective - PowerPoint March 28, 2002


Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Searching and Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence in Criminal Investigations January 2001 192 pp has sample language for Network Banners, 18 U.S.C. §2703(d) orders, Preservation request letters, Pen register/Trap and Trace orders, Subpoena language, and Search warrants  in APPENDICES




Association of Research Libraries Draft Memo from Wiley Rein & Fielding, The Search & Seizure of Electronic Information: The Law Before and After the USA Patriot Act 6 pp.    See also ARL's page of links for research libraries and anti-Terrorism legislation


Bradley J. Bennett, Smith Meets the Patriot: The Digitization of the Pen Register Statutes and the Question of "Content," Cyberspace Law Seminar (April 2002) Law student paper focusing on the technical and constitutional aspects of Carnivore. Has screen shots of Carnivore software in its appendix


Susan W. Brenner and Barbara A. Frederiksen, Computer Searches and Seizures: Some Unresolved Issues, 8 Mich. Telecomm. Tech. L. Rev. 39 (2002) 40 pp. Focuses on Off-Site versus On-Site Computer Search Procedures by the Department of Justice. Discusses application of "plain view" doctrine to computers.


Steven A. Osher, Privacy, Computers and the PATRIOT Act: The Fourth Amendment Isn't Dead, but No One Will Insure It, 54 Fl. L. Rev 3 (July 2002) 22 pp.


California Library Confidentiality Statute


California Government Code 6254, 6255, 6267 (California Public Records Act - Protection of Library Registration and Circulation Records)


American Library Association

The American Library Association advocates certain "best practices" for libraries, including collecting only information that is absolutely necessary and purging records regularly.

Libraries and the Patriot Legislation  ALA's page full of links - including links to Department of Justice Sample Network Banner Language, Sample Preservation Request Letters, Sample Pen Register/Trap and Trace Orders, Sample Subpoena Language, and Sample Letter for Provider Monitoring


Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights   Adopted June 19, 2002  Says users have the right to be informed about library procedures governing retention of personally identifiable information, notes that collection of information should be done only when necessary for the fulfillment of the mission of the library, and speaks out against profiling.


Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality  May 20, 2002


The USA Patriot Act in the Library Resolution Reaffirming the Principles of Intellectual Freedom in the Aftermath of Terrorists Attacks April 2002


Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries: Guidelines for the Library and its Staff April 2002  Practical advice for before, during and after


Guidelines for Librarians on the USA Patriot Act: What to do Before, During and after a “Knock at the Door?” January 19, 2002


Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users. 1991


Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records. 1986


International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC)

Privacy Guidelines for Electronic Resources Vendors July 2002 

Recognizes that information about the behavior, interests and habits of online database users is sometimes gathered without the knowledge or permission of the patron. Establishes six guidelines for vendors that respect privacy of users to ensure that personal information will not be disclosed without permission or as required by law.


Universities and Colleges


David Lombard Harrison, Division of Legal Affairs. University of North Carolina. Higher Education Issues after the USA Patriot Act,  May 2002  24 pp. Explains the PATRIOT Act's impact on relevant laws, particularly surveillance methods from wiretaps, to pen/trap devices to Carnivore/Magic Lantern devices. Practical policy suggestions.


Bruce Joseph and Amy Worlton, Wiley, Rein & Fielding. Effects of the USA Patriot Act on University Network Service Providers, n.d. 6 pp.


Tracy Mitrano, Ph.D., J.D. Cornell University. Office of Information Technologies.  IT Policy Advisor. USA Patriot Act. Very useful site with PowerPoint presentations, Cornell's Patriot Act policy, Q & A with specifics on crafting internal procedures to respond to Patriot Act.

Includes Mitrano's Taking the Mystique Out of the USA-Patriot Act: Information, Process and Protocol, May 2002


Nicole Rivard, USA Patriot Act: How to be Response Ready, University Business, May 2002 10 pp. First steps in getting procedures in place.


Lee S. Strickland, Mary Minow, Tomas Lipinski, Patriot in the Library: Management Approaches When Demands for Information are Received from Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies, 30 J. of College and Univ. Law (2004) 42pp.


Public Libraries


All Things Considered. Library Searches August 10, 2002


AP (Boston Herald). FBI Visits Libraries to Monitor Reading Habits of Those it Suspects of Terrorism Ties. June 25, 2002

Christopher Dreher, He Knows What You've Been Checking Out Salon (reprinted at March 6, 2002


Leigh Estabrook, University of Illinois, Public Libraries' Responses to September 11, 2001 Survey  -  85 of 1000+ libraries reported authorities had requested information about their patrons in three-four months following attacks


Mary Minow, The USA PATRIOT Act and Patron Privacy on Library Internet Terminals,, February 15, 2002


See also



Privacy And Library Records Update: USA Patriot Act

August 15, 2002. This material has been created by Mary Minow and provided through the Infopeople Project [], supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. Any use of this material should credit the author and funding source.