Politics

Pravda webiste closed over cartoon kerfuffle

mdoneil writes "Pravda.ru has had its website shut down because of controversey over the Danish cartoons.
The story is here.
How the world has changed that the former state organ of the Soviet Union is worried about offending people in other countries."

Still John Doe: Connecticut Librarian Receives Intellectual Freedom Prize In Absentia

Kelly writes: "This is from a NYT article [registration required] today entitled, 'Librarian Is Still John Doe, Despite Patriot Act Revision'"

The hotel ballroom was packed as a sensibly dressed, well-read crowd from around the country gathered in San Antonio on Jan. 21 to celebrate one of their own. Yet, as many expected, the guest of honor was a no-show, despite the $500 intellectual freedom prize that awaited. Attendees at an American Library Association gathering blamed Washington for the empty chair. Lawmakers may be giving themselves credit for having improved safeguards on civil liberties when they reauthorized the nation's antiterrorism law, otherwise known as the USA Patriot Act, earlier this month. But many librarians and civil liberties lawyers say the revisions did nothing to enable the guest of honor to take the stage and discuss the Patriot Act without risk of prosecution. Known as John Doe in court filings, the guest of honor was the Connecticut librarian who was visited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year and presented with what is known as a national security letter demanding patron records.

Group charges libraries filtered out Web site

Jeanie Straub writes "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 'The Council of Conservative Citizens, a nationwide group ... portrayed as racist, is suing four libraries in the St. Louis area for allegedly blocking patrons from viewing its Web site.' Read the full story at stltoday.com"

Wiretapping: ugly precedent in Black community

Jeanie Straub writes "The New York Amsterdam News reports: 'Part of the reason for the establishment of [the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] was to combat illegal wiretap programs like the J. Edgar Hoover-created counter-intelligence program [or COINTELPRO] ... that kept Black activists and left-leaning organizations under surveillance during the late 1960s. COINTELPRO not only shadowed activists, it also actively worked to disrupt their lives -- and often led to the long-term imprisonment, exile and death of many of its subjects. In one instance, a COINTELPRO-orchestrated dispute led to the deaths of Chicago Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.' Read the full story at amsterdamnews.com"

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CBS fined $3.6 Mill over Teen Orgy Show in 04

Sex Engines Web writes "The FCC said an episode of the CBS crime drama "Without a Trace" that aired in December 2004 was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060315/ap_on_en_tv/tv _indecency"

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Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know

gypsy librarian writes "The American Society of Newspaper Editors and other organizations, including ALA, are celebrating Sunshine Week during March 12-18. During this time, the idea is to promote freedom of information and its importance to a democratic society. This is the second year for this event. Find details, news and editorials, and various resources at their website.

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Bush Signed PATRIOT ACT

Search-Engines writes "After a long battle with Congress that went down to the wire, President Bush signed a renewal of the USA Patriot Act today, a day before 16 major provisions of the old law expire.Bush said the Patriot Act is vital to win the war on terror and protect Americans. He recalled the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and said the country is still at war. More"

Three gathering storms...

HeatherM writes "The March 2006 Open Access Newsletter is now available. Peter Suber highlights the efforts to strengthen the NIH Public Access Policy, and also talks about:

Three gathering storms that could cause collateral damage for open access - the webcasting treaty, opposition to net neutrality, and the end to free e-mail. This is a really good, easy-to-understand summary of some of what I see as the key policy issues of our times, issues which will affect basic human freedoms and library services as a whole, not just open access.

and more..."

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Library digitzation in campus politics

Gavin Baker writes "I'm running for Student Senate at the University of Florida. My personal platform includes working to expand digitization efforts in our university libraries. Has anyone else made digitization and access to public domain materials a political issue?"

Austria Imprisons Author for 1989 Holocaust Denial

Search Engines Web wrote in with the news today about a revisionist historian (Holocaust denier) being convicted. David Irving, who expressed his views during a speech in Austria in November 1989, was given a three year jail sentence by a Vienna court. Bad scientists take note? We've mentioned the legality of anti-Semitic works previously, as well as other no-no titles.

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