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..."


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.

Google Counsel Explains WHY They Refused Subpoena

Search Engines Web writes "In August, Google was served with a subpoena from the U. S. Department of Justice demanding disclosure of two full months’ worth of search queries that Google received from its users, as well as all the URLs in Google’s index. They objected to the subpoena, which started a set of legal procedures that puts the issue before the Federal courts. They have posted the introduction to theresponse to the Department of Justice's motion to the court to force them to comply with the subpoena. You can find the entire response here. (This is a 25-page PDF file.)"

U.S. Starts Global Internet Freedom Task Force

The Search Guy writes "At a news conference, Josette Shiner, a top State Department trade expert, called the Internet the greatest purveyor of news and information in history" but said too often the flow is blocked by government censors. Shiner announced the formation of a task force that will consider, among other issues, the foreign policy aspects of Internet freedom, including the use of technology to restrict access to political content. She said it is a top U.S. government priority "to do all we can to ensure maximum access to information over the Internet. ABC News Has More"

US "mock attack" to shut down blogs

Babylon Sister sent over News From The AP on the conclusion of "Cyber Storm" wargame Friday, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.
Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose "Web logs" include political rantings and musings about current events.

Bush Budget Axes EPA Libraries

Kathleen writes "Under G.Bush Jr.'s proposed budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shut down its network of libraries that serve its own scientists as well as the public, according to internal agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to the libraries, the agency will pull the plug on its electronic catalog which tracks tens of thousands of unique documents and research studies that are available nowhere else."

The other side of the budget-coin has Good News For the IMLS. The budget would boost funding for library programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services to $220.9 million, an increase of nearly $10.3 million over FY 2006.

Cuban journo on hunger strike for rights

mdoneil writes "A Cuban independent journalist is on the verge of death after a ten day hunger strike in an attempt to force the repressive Castro regime to allow a right to free expression and the right to Internet access.

Guillermo Farinas has been on a hunger strike since the end of January according to Reporters without Borders. He was rushed to the hospital upon losing consciousness. However after regaining his strength he ripped the IV from his arm.
Cuba as you will recall is one of the dictatorships that prevents independent librarians from distributing books. The ALA fails to grasp the importance of these independent librarians in their quest to bring freedom to the island nation. Michael Gorman who as head of the ALA holds Cuban librarians in such contempt by calling them 'not real librarians' must also hold Farinas in contempt as well for being an independent journals - would Gorman call him not a real journalist? Would he call him that on his deathbed?
One of the prohibited documents in Cuba is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Article 19 of the UDHR requires that everyone - independent Cuban journalists and librarians - have the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
RSF knows that information can bring freedom, IFLA - the international body of which the ALA is the US representative knows it. They know that independent librarians and journalists must be free to share their views and opinions. When will the ALA get it?"


PA Governor to Restore Library Funding

Babylon Sister sent over some Good News for libraries in PA. Gov. Rendell today proposed a $25.4 billion state budget for fiscal 2006-07 calling for no new taxes, dips in business levies, and increased spending on libraries, education and children's health-care programs.
Overall, the budget would boost state spending by $924 million, or about 3.8 percent. Two-thirds of the new dollars are earmarked for education.
"What I have proposed today is bold and far-reaching," Rendell told a joint session of the House and Senate this morning. "It is necessary and vital for our future. And the good news is that it is affordable."


Subscribe to Politics