Skip to main content

FBI Demands Wikipedia Remove Its Seal

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has accused Wikipedia of illegally reproducing the FBI's seal, BBC News reported on Tuesday.

Wikipedia received a letter from the FBI, asking it to pull down the image of their official seal, an act which FBI has called illegal and prohibited by the US law.

The FBI wrote: "Whoever possesses any insignia...or any colourable imitation thereof..shall be fined...or imprisoned... or both."

The lawyer for Wikipedia Mike Godwin, in response, said that the FBI had omitted several key words in its letter, changing the interpretation of the law.

He wrote: "The enactment of [these laws] was intended to protect the public against the use of a recognisable assertion of authority with intent to deceive. The seal is in no way evidence of any 'intent to deceive', nor is it an 'assertion of authority', recognisable or otherwise."

"In short, then, we are compelled as a matter of law and principle to deny your demand for removal of the FBI Seal from Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons. we are prepared to argue our view in court" general counsel of Wikipedia Mike Godwin wrote in a response letter to FBI.