Newton officials are calling their refusal to allow FBI agents access to library computers without a warrant during a terrorist threat last week “their finest hour.” Law enforcement officials say it’s a “nightmare.” Police rushed to the Newton Free Library after tracing a terrorist threat e-mailed to Brandeis University to a computer at the library. But requests to examine computers Jan. 18 were rebuffed by Newton library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Mayor David Cohen on the grounds that they did not have a warrant. Cohen, defending the library’s actions, called the legal standoff one of Newton’s “finest hours.” “We showed you can enforce the law – without jeopardizing the privacy of innocent citizens,” the mayor said. It took U.S. attorneys several hours to finally secure a warrant, Glick-Weil said, and they took the computer from the library at about 11:30 that night, after the library had closed. Brandeis received the alleged e-mail threat at about 11 a.m., according to Waltham Lt. Brian Navin. While police reportedly didn’t find anything threatening after evacuating […]

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