The following is not the first story of its type. Every week or so it seems
that one story similar pops up. The outcome might be slightly different but the
essence of the story remains the same.
An e-mail threat that prompted the evacuation of more than a dozen
Brandeis University buildings on January 18 led to an unusual standoff in a
public library in Newton, Mass., a few miles from the Brandeis campus.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents tried to seize 30 of the library's
computers without a warrant, saying someone had used the library's Internet
connection to send the threat to Brandeis. But the library director, Kathy
Glick-Weil, told the agents they could not take the machines unless they got
a warrant first. Newton's mayor, David Cohen, backed Ms. Glick-Weil up.
After a brief standoff, FBI officials relented and sought a warrant from
a judge. Meanwhile, Ms. Glick-Weil allowed an FBI computer-forensics
examiner to work with information-technology specialists at the library to
narrow down which computers might have been used to send the threatening
message. They determined that three computers were implicated in the alleged
Late that evening, the FBI received a warrant to cart away the three
computers. According to Mayor Cohen, the warrant allows the FBI to view only
the threatening e-mail message and the messages sent immediately before and
after that message.