[Videolib] USA Patriot Act

Rick Faaberg (rfaaberg@attbi.com)
Wed, 09 Apr 2003 20:50:56 -0700

Interesting reading in an article written by, I believe, a prof at Portland
State University in Oregon (see below). It's not addressing video per se but
obviously video is ultimately no different than books.

Rick Faaberg

Subject: Regarding the USA Patriot Act

At a meeting last Friday of the Oregon Literary Coalition, a panel of
librarians and booksellers discussed the impact of the USA Patriot Act
(Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools
Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). Scary is barely adequate
to describe it. As you may already know, both libraries and booksellers
are required to turn over reader and customer information while being
subject to a standing gag order that denies them the right to even
mention that they've done so.

Libraries are destroying reader data, although it was explained to us
that many have for some time not been keeping records beyond the date
of a book's return.

Publishers Weekly has reported that many bookstores are destroying
customer data bases.

Beyond the USA Patriot Act, elements of the US government are preparing
even more invasive legislation. But there are also state-level attacks
on freedom of expression being pushed through under cover of the war on
terrorism and the current administration's jingoism. Oregon just had a
bill introduced that would essentially make acts of civil disobedience
punishable by prison terms of 25 years to life. Fortunately,
overwhelming citizen opposition sent the legislator making the proposal
back to the drawing board, but he'll return with something only
slightly less pernicious.

Here is a list of sites that shed light on all of this:

American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom at

American Library Association Washington Office at

Post 9/11 Civil Liberties Resources and Web Sites from ABA, compiled by
ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair at

National Writers Union: Call for Press Freedom During Times of War at

Public Integrity: Special Report "Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping
Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act" at www.publicintegrity.org

American Booksellers Association: "Free Expression" at

American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network, Keep America Safe and
Free at www.aclu.org/safeandfree/

Advertising Council, "Campaign for Freedom" at
www.adcouncil.org/campaigns/campaign for freedom/

Center for Constitutional Rights, "The USA Patriot Act: What's So
Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?" at

Center for Democracy and Technology, "Response to September 11th, 2001
Terrorist Attacks" at www.cdt.org/security/010911response.html

Freedom to Read Foundation at www.ftrf.org

Public Broadcasting System: "Now with Bill Moyers" at

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting at www.fair.org

Bill of Rights Defense Committee at www.bordc.org

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