FBI threatens Wikipedia with Criminal Prosecution

The Federal Bureau of Investigation isn’t too keen on websites posting their official seal as an image.  So protective are they of their insignia, that they’ve officially threatened legal action against Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, the titan of online encyclopedias, has a high resolution picture of the official seal prominently featured on its dapoxetine tadalafil online, and according to the funny ambien stories, the Bureau’s  deputy general counsel sent a letter to the Wiki people, demanding its removal, “because it facilitates both deliberate and unwitting violations” of federal restrictions on the use of the image. Indeed, it is a federal crime  to “manufactur[e], sel[l], or posses[s] any badge, identification card, or other insignia, of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States.”

This statute is being cited by the FBI in an effort to prohibit the printing and usage of the official seal by counterfeiters and other super bad guys.  They believe that this behavior can be curbed by eliminating the posting of the seal online.

i need homework helpMany other sites reporting on this issue are brazenly using the official FBI symbol. I decided I’d use my clever photo editing skills to avoid rocking the boat. If you’d like to see a high definition image of the FBI seal, you can go to a website called fbi.gov…Ohhh dear. That’s gotta be embarrassing.

It is true. The high res imagery of the official seal is all over the place at FBI.gov.  Here’s an example: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/financial/fcs_report052005/fcs_report052005.htm

The folks at Wiki aren’t backing down.  They contend that the FBI is using a Federal Law improperly.  They maintain that the law specifically refers to the actual, physical possession of a replica or rendering of Federal Seals or badges.  This does NOT include the posting of said images on websites.

In a response to the Bureau, Wiki wrote:

While we appreciate your desire to revise the statute to reflect your expansive vision of it, the fact is that we must work with the actual language of the statute, not the aspirational version … that you forwarded to us.”

They continued by declining the request to remove the image and said,  “Badges and identification cards are physical manifestations that may be used by a possessor to invoke the authority of the federal government. An encyclopedia article is not.”

Suffice to say, websites that include the prefix “Wiki” are not very high on the Government’s list of favorites lately.  (Wikipedia, Wiki Leaks)  Luckily, I scrapped the Wikistrordinary Intelligence idea early on.

To read the full NY Times article, along with their giggle inducing headline, click here:  F.B.I., Challenging Use of Seal, Gets Back a Primer on the Law

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