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Fang-Face writes "In the continuing saga of USAPA, the law has suffered another setback. An article from Reuters,
and reprinted at CommonDreams.org, reports that a federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional the provision forbidding people from admitting they had been interrogated or interviewed under USAPA. This means that librarians can now put us signs saying that the FBI had indeed been in the library under S.215 -- should it ever happen or if it already has."
No, YOU check THIS out is an article from Jessamyn West on The USA PATRIOT act, and how librarians reacted. Librarians were not amused, Librarians got annoyed, Librarians got organized....
Britain's Observer-Guardian has a special report about changes in privacy and civil rights since the implementation of the Patriot Act here in the States post 9/11.
starts as follows: "The message of the posters on the walls of Skokie library is plain: Big Brother is watching you. The signs, put up by librarian Caroline Anthony, warn of the radical new laws that have given the American government power to monitor the reading habits of its citizens without telling them."
It then goes on to discuss how the Patriot Act has affected the following: detention without grounds, air and ground travel, internet use, use of phones and e-mail, and treatment of foreign residents and visitors to the U.S. Also discussed were several suits filed on behalf of citizens opposed to the Act and Attorney General Ashcroft's "road show" to sell Americans on the benefits of the Act.
Fang-Face writes "The American Library Association has a brief article about a
USAPA Catch-22. Although the DOJ has asserted that anyone who is targeted by USAPA can challenge such an order before a secret court, only government lawyers are allowed to appear before such a court. Sounds like a conflict of interest, to me, not to mention a denial of the right to face your accuser in an open court."
s-e-w.com person sends "this article about a preliminary decision by the FCC that will require Broadband providers and Internet phone services to comply with requirements designed for the traditional phone network. In brief, the decision is designed to help police and spy agencies eavesdrop on all forms of high-speed Internet access, including cable modems, wireless, satellite and broadband over power lines."
conservator writes "An article on the Patriot Act at LegalTimes.com ("Pitching the Patriot Act") compares DOJ and ACLU attempts to spin the Patriot Act. Author Vanessa Blum cites Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama's oblique reference to the Patriot Act during his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention as an example of an "overly simplistic" association in the public mind between the Patriot Act (see Ashcroft-as-demon icon, right) and unbridled government snooping on the books they read."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stands to lose half a million dollars by pulling out of the Combined Federal Campaign which allows federal employees to give money to non-profit groups through payroll deduction. The ACLU gave their rationale in a press release on their website
"It is increasingly clear that the Patriot Act and the government's 'war on terror' are threatening the ability of America's non-profit charities to do their essential work," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a letter to campaign director Mara Patermaster. "By requiring non-profit charities to check their employees against a 'black list' in order to receive donations from the CFC, you are furthering a climate of fear and intimidation that undermines the health and well-being of this nation."
More from CNN.com
Zorro7 writes "A paid subscription political-economic online newsletter I subscribe to called "Al Martin Raw" last week made a rather startling announcement, from a librarian-standpoint. After summarizing the July 8th Patriot Acts' reaffirmation of the part of the act that allows the feds to snoop on your library book borrowing habits and book-buying habits, he says this: "As it relates to booksellers, it further authorizes the FBI to force booksellers to turn over a list to the FBI of all book titles that they may be selling and all book titles that their customers may have requested. This was the part that was very controversial to librarians and others concerned about the vast power of this; in that it effectively gives government the ability not only to monitor what people read but to use that monitoring system as a basis for declaring people to be seditious or otherwise targeting citizens for special investigation." But hat's nothing: it gets much more interesting. He continues, "It's interesting to note some of the books that are on the FBI's so-called potentially seditious list. They include Presidential historian Dr. Michael Beschloss's book on Thomas Jefferson and the Constitution. That was reported on FSTV, which went through a list of books. Many of the books considered seditious are books that detail citizens' rights and liberties under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights." Then he mentions that Ashcroft said they merely were looking to find people checking out bomb-making books, etc, which, says Martin, "was completely false."
But here's the REALLY interesting, pay dirt quote from the article: -- Read More
"Congress recently voted not to block a portion of the Patriot Act allowing the government to monitor Americans' reading habits. What clinched the vote was information provided by the Justice Department indicating that last spring a suspected terrorist had used e-mail services at a public library.
As terrifying as this idea might be, what was even more terrifying to Samuel Dash were the incursions already made on Americans' rights. The Patriot Act now allows the government to tap phones and search homes without probable cause. Government agents may also sneak into homes of Americans and obtain evidence without giving residents prior notice." Read More.
British Columbia has announced plans to stop any far-reaching effects the U.S. Patriot Act may have on the privacy of people in B.C. The province will introduce rules this fall to forbid Canadian subsidiaries of American companies from handing over private information to American law enforcement agencies.