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John Hubbard writes \"The USA PATRIOT Act and its effects on libraries has made some mainstream news headlines recently. A Catagory at the Open Directory Project has been created to serve as a clearinghouse for relevant web pages. Submissions are welcome! \"
The Center For Public Integrity says the Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act that will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information.
They say they have A PDF of the draft of the law. Bill Moyers Covered It, as did Newsday, Security Focus, CBS News, and I would assume The ACLU Will as well.
Meanwhile, GCN Says the Total Information Awareness terrorist-tracking project will now have 2 oversight panels.
Robert Teeter sent over A librarian\'s dilemma from The San Francisco Chronicle.
The editorial talks about the bind in which many librarians find themselves: As citizens, they have a clear interest in helping law enforcement track down terrorists. As librarians, a basic principle of their creed is to protect their patrons\' privacy.
\"Librarians are left in this difficult position because the surveillance powers of the Patriot Act were cast so broadly. Our founders understood the value of open access to knowledge. One of the measures of a great democracy is the ability of ordinary citizens to explore ideas without government interference, a value the librarians are trying to balance against the government\'s need to search for terrorists. \"
A strongly worded Editorial From Hawai\'i on USA Patriot and Homeland Security acts.
They say it\'s time for the Hawai\'i Legislature to think about joining the resistance to the federal government\'s unconstitutional excursions into our basic liberties. The cover the growing number of other state and local governments doing the same.
\"This modest rebellion, in the form of publicly expressed aloha for our Bill of Rights, would gain national attention. It would bring others into the discussion. It would educate. In the larger scheme of things, it could be one of the most important of 3,000 or so bills and resolutions the Legislature will consider this year.\"
As you can see, Blake recently created a new category for articles related to the USAPATRIOT act. Currently, the icon is this interesting little wavy flag, but he and I were talking about some other possibilities. If you have any images that you think would embody the spirit of the act, link to it in a comment to this article (use the <img src=\"\"> tag). Images should be croppable or scaleable to 50x50 pixels and in the public domain.
A Short But Sweet Editorial from the Detroit Free Press continues to beat the drum against The Patriot Act.
They say the government needs to be able to track terrorists who might use public facilities and computers to formulate plans. But citizens ought to be able to read and research without worrying that the government is tracking their every curiousity.
They also add, the Patriot Act makes library patrons the former and librarians the latter. This kind of government snooping should at least require probable cause -- and leave librarians out of the domestic espionage loop.
They say an FBI agent walked into the Carpenter branch of the St. Louis Public Library, asking to see sign-up sheets that detailed the names of patrons who used library computers on Dec. 28 and walked out with the records later that day, with no subpoena or court order.
The request was prompted by a tip from a library patron who had used one of the branch\'s 16 Internet-accessible computers on the same day and at the same time as another patron, who was of Middle Eastern descent.
Gary \"ResourceShelf\" Price sent over a Nice Look at The Patriot Act from a regular person point of view. U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont, plans to introduce legislation next month to remove Section 215 from the Patriot Act.
\"We all want the government to do whatever it can to protect us from terrorist acts,\" Naperville Public Libraries Deputy Director Mark West said. \"My concern is that governments from Chicago to the federal government have a long history of abuse of power.\"
Tim passed along This Wired Story we missed on librarians\' response to law enforcement requests for patrons\' records in the year following the passage of the Patriot Act.
They talk about This Survey [PDF] done by The Library Research Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that found in the year following the Sept. 11 attacks, federal and local law enforcement agents visited at least 545 libraries to inquire after patrons\' records.
When asked to voluntarily forfeit patrons\' records, roughly half the librarians cooperated with investigators without demanding a subpoena or court order, the study found.