What a fire storm.
I first wish that the newspaper reporters (and others) would remember to cite the full title of the law correctly. It is USA PATRIOT Act. All those capital letters are there for a reason, it is an acronym. Here is what it stands for: Unoting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
I'll not post the links to the original story, which is being questioned in some circles. The statement from UMass/Dartmouth is interesting. I hope that they stand by their staff.
The Library Director there is Ann Montgomery Smith, former Library Director of the New Britain Public Library, and Executive Director of the short-lived Partnership of Connecticut Libraries. I first saw the statement after she sent it to a law librarian's list. The newspaper report noted above includes the full text also.
The story in the paper ABOUT their first story is fascinating, as well. It shows how paranoid we have all become. And who would not be paranoid with the recent revelations about wiretapping and surveillance without judicial approval?
Thanks to Jessamyn West for the links from today's issue of SouthCoast Today.com which seems to be the online version of New Bedford's Standard-Times (daily newspaper).