Censorship

Screening Will Go On at Enfield CT Library

The Enfield Public Library and town officials have reached a compromise that will allow a screening of the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" about the American health care system.

Mayor Scott Kaupin tells The Associated Press that the library will show the movie in the next few weeks as part of a series that will include multiple points of view on controversial topics.

The library last week canceled a planned screening of the movie, which is critical of the U.S. health care system, after the Republican mayor and some town council members objected.

That led to accusations of censorship.

Kaupin says the issue was not whether the film should be shown, but whether the library should offer just one side of the health care debate.

NECN reports.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #137

This week's episode contains a replay of the most recent episode of TVO's program Search Engine about the censorship situation in Tunisia. We follow up last Tuesday's release of Search Engine by bringing the story up to date with events that happened since.

Another episode of LISTen will be released late Tuesday night/early Wednesday overnight with content that is more traditional.

Related links:
The episode of Search Engine being replayed
Ars Technica on Twitter vs. Tunisia
Committee to Protect Journalists on Tunisian Censorship
BBC News reporting on Tunisian censorship...in 2005...
The Voice of America on the Tunisia situation
Story by Aidan Lewis on BBC News about the situation in Tunisia
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news on the ex-President of Tunisia fleeing to Saudi Arabia
France24 on the possibility of more incidents like this

Creative Commons License
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Apple Drops WikiLeaks App from App Store

Apple became the latest company to step back from WikiLeaks when they removed an unofficial WikiLeaks app from the App Store.

According to TechCrunch, Apple approved the app earlier this month and added it to the store. The WikiLeaks app cost $1.99 and allowed you to simply view the content of WikiLeaks.

Amazon Deletes Items from Kindles... Again

It's like 1984 all over again.

From ArsTechnica:

Amazon may be in the process of stirring up some more trouble for itself thanks to reports that the company is deleting certain kinds of erotica from both the online store and users' devices. The erotica in question is controversial: it talks about certain acts of incest. Judging from Amazon's most recent bouts with book "censorship," users who have already paid for the deleted content are likely to get fired up.

The article goes on to say how one customer who complained about how their content that they paid for disappeared from their Kindle received only chastising remarks from Amazon about the severity of the item they purchased.

Meanwhile, the Strict Leather Forced Orgasm Belt remains on the virtual shelves of online retailer.

Fighting Censorship in School Libraries

From SLJ:

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) recently recognized author Lauren Myracle, school librarian Dee Ann Venuto, and 19-year-old college student Jordan Allen for fighting against censorship in schools.

NCAC's annual "Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders" ceremony in New York City brought together more than 150 authors, publishers, and First Amendment advocates to celebrate the work of the 36-year-old organization.

Venuto, a media specialist at the Rancocoas Valley High School in Mount Holly, NJ, was honored for her efforts to keep a list of gay-themed books on her library shelves. The titles Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology (Alyson, 2000) edited by Amy Sonnie.

Venuto followed her district's materials review policy, which outlines the steps that must be taken when library materials or other instructional material are questioned, when a local grassroots organization called the 9/12 Group challenged the books, drawing media attention.

Venuto says she's grateful to NCAC for spreading the word about the challenge and for the professional and personal support they gave her.

NH parents object to book that calls Jesus vagrant

A New Hampshire couple is asking a school board to remove a book that refers to Jesus Christ as a "wine-guzzling vagrant" and let a committee of parents rate all other books taught in their son's high school.
The 2001 book is called "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" It documents author Barbara Ehrenreich's attempts to live on minimum wage.

Dennis and Aimee Taylor have complained to Bedford High School officials about the book and have removed their son from the school at his request. They also object to obscenities in the book.
On Monday, they accused officials of either being careless in choosing books or intentionally pushing the author's views.

School board members took no action because they're waiting to hear from the district's curriculum committee.

Full article here

Amazon Selling Kindle Version of Wikileaks

Among its many services, Amazon.com offers hosting for websites in the form of data storage. When Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of diplomatic cables onto the Internet, it didn't take long for some technologically minded people to find out that Amazon had been hosting Wikileaks' data and content for quite some time. Yet, after the blow up over the cables, Amazon tossed Wikileaks from their servers, siting violations of their terms of service.

So make of this what you will, but Amazon UK is selling a Kindle version of the Wikileaks data. You can also have a look at the customer comments.

Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress and Wikileaks

The Congressional Research Service is seeking guidance on the use of information revealed by Wikileaks. CRS researchers can use all the resources of one of the world's greatest libraries, BUT they are prohibited from using a website that's easily accessible to the average fifth-grader. Does this impede their mission to provide accurate and reliable reports to Congress?

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2010/12/crs_guidance.html/comment-page-1#comment-23738

Library of Congress Blocks Wikileaks

From The Guardian:

The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.

Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.

Smithsonian Censors Itself at the Behest of the Government

The Smithsonian Museum has been under pressure from Catholics and congressmen to pull pieces of an exhibit focusing on homosexuality and homosexual Americans. From NPR:

At least one critic has accused the Smithsonian of caving in to pressure from Catholics and from two Republican members of Congress. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money." A spokesperson for incoming House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January."

More from NPR.

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