Berkeley’s Long Haul Infoshop finally has its computers back, but its legal battle with UC Berkeley is far from settled.
Jennifer Granick, Civil Liberties Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco, said she has asked the campus police to delete all the information they seized during an Aug. 27 raid at the Infoshop.
Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force seized computers and electronic storage devices from several offices at 3124 Shattuck Ave. looking for evidence that would identify the senders of threatening e-mails received by campus researchers who experiment on live animals.
Granick said the university has yet to respond to a letter “we sent about two weeks ago.”
The EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union have been working with groups at the Long Haul, with the ACLU replacing the National Lawyers Guild, which had earlier been involved in the case.
The raid raises a number of legal issues, Granick said, including the sworn statement used by campus Detective Bill Kasiske to get a search warrant, which failed to mention that the Long Haul offices housed several organizations including a publication—which is entitled to special protections under federal law.
That the Long Haul houses a variety of groups is apparent to any visitor, Granick noted, as well as from its website, http://thelonghaul.org/.
The presence of the Slingshot, a quarterly tabloid newsletter, raises questions under the federal Privacy Protection Act, which gives special legal status to organizations that disseminate information to the public, said the EFF attorney.
If the search was invalid, then campus police aren’t entitled to retain or use any of the information seized during the raid, Granick said. Attorneys for the Long Haul are now deciding what their next steps will be.
No arrests have yet been made as a result of the raid, which featured officers from the campus police and Alameda County Sheriff’s department as well as at least one FBI agent.
The raiders removed locks from several doors, including those of offices housing Slingshot and East Bay Prisoner Support, a group which works with inmates. Also seized was Berkeley Liberation Radio’s hard drive.
Four of the computers were freely available for “activist-oriented access” to anyone who sat down at the keyboards in a second floor loft area.