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Bob Cox points us to a short snip in the Washington Post that says Laura Bush is siding with her husband [and the Patriot Act] over the librarians. \"These are extraordinary times for our nation because we are at war against terrorism,\" the first lady said in a statement read by her spokeswoman.
Here\'s More on The FBI\'s effort, authorized by the anti-terrorism law enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks, is the first broad government check of library records since the 1970s, when prosecutors reined in the practice for fear of abuses.
They quote Judith Krug as saying she is frustrated by the hate mail she says she receives when she speaks out against the Patriot Act.
\"People are scared and they think that by giving up their rights, especially their right to privacy, they will be safe,\" Krug said. \"But it wasn\'t the right to privacy that let terrorists into our nation. It had nothing to do with libraries or library records.\"
Here\'s One that says for the first time since the Cold War, the FBI is visiting public libraries to keep tabs on the reading habits of people the government considers dangerous.
The searches of some records kept by libraries and bookstores were authorized in an obscure provision of the USA Patriot Act, quietly approved by Congress six weeks after Sept. 11.
In a nationwide survey of 1,020 public libraries in January and February, the University of Illinois found that 85 - or 8.3 percent - had been asked by federal or local law enforcement officers for information about patrons related to Sept. 11
From the Baltimore Sun. Thanks to Carol Casey for the heads up:
There are [many] provisions of the Patriot Act that offend librarians because of excessive secrecy or censorship, but what we surely cannot abide is the government\'s intrusion on library confidentiality.
When the public\'s reading habits and personal communications are subject to government surveillance within the library, the delicate relationship of trust between libraries and their patrons is shattered and the chill on free expression and the right to know may be irrevocable.
This is not a partisan issue.
James Nimmo passed along This One from CO on three constitutional issues that we all know are having a big impact on our lives.
the First Amendment, CIPA, Filtering, and the the Patriot Act.
\"It’s nobody’s business what you read,\" Volz said, but added, \"I do not feel it’s a problem here.\"
James Nimmo passed along This Village Voice Story that says the USA Patriot Act can order bookstores to provide lists of books bought by people suspected of involvement in terrorism.
They say the definition of terrorism in the USA Patriot Act is so broad and vague that any number of American readers may be caught in this additional Ashcroft dragnet.
LLRX writes \"T
he USA PATRIOT Act and Patron Privacy on Library
Internet Terminals .
Mary Minow answers important questions about how
this act impacts libraries providing Internet access to
the public. Mary also provides a valuable bibiliography
of related materials. Published on LLRX.com February
15, 2002 \"
The USA PATRIOT Act and Patron Privacy on Library Internet Terminals by Mary Minow tells us What the USA PATRIOT Act means for libraries.
She says the upshot is that there will be a great many more surveillance orders, everywhere in the country, and in turn there will be more requests for library records, including Internet use records. Think of law enforcement as needing to enter two doors to apprehend a suspect.
Ender, The Duke of URL passed along This From Wired, with a question, \"Would they float, with a deposit?\".
The ALA OIF said that \"librarians should not notify the person whose records are the subject\" of requests from the police, since they can\'t inform patrons of government surveillance, thanks to the patriot act.
So... is this a big deal, and if so, would it be possible to create some kind of anonymous library cards?
Bad time to Give A Print to get a book?
Bob Cox pointed us to this ALA Alert on the USA PATRIOT Act.
The new legislation amends the laws governing the
Federal Bureau of Investigation’s access to business
records. One provision orders any person or institution
served with a search warrant not to disclose that such a
warrant has been served or that records have been
produced pursuant to the warrant.
The existence of this provision does not mean that
libraries and librarians served with such a search
warrant cannot ask to consult with their legal counsel
concerning the warrant. A library and its employees can
still seek legal advice concerning the warrant and
request that the library’s legal counsel be present
during the actual search and execution of the warrant.
EPIC has more as well.