Risk
5/8/2008
03:40 PM
50%
50%

FBI Withdraws Probe Of Wayback Machine Users

The settlement stems from a lawsuit claiming the FBI's request for information about the Internet Archive's Web library violated the First Amendment.

The FBI has withdrawn a letter demanding information about an Internet Archive user's records.

In November, the FBI sent the nonprofit digital library a National Security Letter demanding personal information about an Internet Archive user. The letter requested the person's name, address, and other electronic records pertaining to the user.

The Internet Archive gives Web surfers access to the Wayback Machine, an archive of Web pages, many of which are no longer available.

It voluntarily provided publicly available information and identified more records that were not publicly available. At the same time, the Internet Archive sued to withhold the information contained in the nonpublic records. It claimed the letter violated free-speech rights -- since it stated that the library's founder could not discuss the letter with anyone except the library's attorneys.

The FBI announced this week that it settled the lawsuit by withdrawing the letter. Some parts of the once-sealed lawsuit are now public, but both parties agreed not to disclose certain portions of the letter and other documents.

"The information requested in the National Security Letter was relevant to an ongoing, authorized national security investigation," John Miller, assistant director of the FBI Office of Public Affairs, said in a statement. "National Security Letters remain indispensable tools for national security investigations and permit the FBI to gather the basic building blocks for our counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations."

The government uses National Security Letters to get information from banks, credit reporting companies, and Internet service providers, among others, during investigations. It's standard practice for investigators to tell recipients they are prohibited from discussing the letters.

Critics contend that the letters are unconstitutional because of their secrecy, lack of oversight, and the recipients' limited ability to fight them.

Congress amended a provision of the Patriot Act in 2006 to limit the FBI's power to demand library records through the use of National Security Letters. Members of Congress are promoting legislation that would further restrict investigators' freedom to use the letters.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7421
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a module name in the salg_name field, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-9644.

CVE-2014-8160
Published: 2015-03-02
net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_proto_generic.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18 generates incorrect conntrack entries during handling of certain iptables rule sets for the SCTP, DCCP, GRE, and UDP-Lite protocols, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via packets with disall...

CVE-2014-9644
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a parenthesized module template expression in the salg_name field, as demonstrated by the vfat(aes) expression, a different vulnerability than CVE-201...

CVE-2015-0239
Published: 2015-03-02
The em_sysenter function in arch/x86/kvm/emulate.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5, when the guest OS lacks SYSENTER MSR initialization, allows guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges or cause a denial of service (guest OS crash) by triggering use of a 16-bit code segment for emulation of a SYS...

CVE-2014-8921
Published: 2015-03-01
The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.