Re: a national newspaper, which recorded the data
And I don't like the idea of viewing it first at a library. Do library PCs have open, functional USB ports? Was the finder worried that there might be malware on it? (And did a qualified security bod sanitise the library PC afterwards?)
Probably the second safest option (after not connecting it to anything) from the finder's point of view. Library computer USBs will allow connecting storage devices because one of their purposes is to let people get data off or on (e.g. for emailing), they're there to give the general public access to IT.
Interesting question though, what is the properly paranoid approach, assuming you need to read an untrusted USB device? If you're willing to believe it may have some way of compromising the machine, or at least the USB interface, then maybe it's use once and dispose of all hardware (or at least, replace all EEPROM and BIOS as well as wipe disc)?