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Bill Olds, a staff writer for the Hartford Courant newspaper, has written a very cogent article about what the FBI is capable of doing under the USA PATRIOT Act. He claims to have good information that the Bureau has installed software on the Hartford Public Library computers to track the activities of individual users.
Newsweek has picked up on the Patriot Act with This One that says the ACLU has been searching for a librarian who doesn’t want to cooperate and is willing to serve as a test case in the courts. They say despite widespread outrage among librarians, so far no one has come forward, and the statute remains untested in the courts and There’s little chance that the role will be filled by the nation’s most famous librarian: Laura Bush.
“This statute trumps protections in place in 49 of 50 states, with consequences that could evoke images of Big Brother,”
Responding to the FBI\'s incursion into libraries since Sept. 11, 2001, the director of the American Library Association has suggested examining warrants and shredding patron records to thwart the bureau\'s Patriot Act-sanctioned searches. Commentator Andy Thibault goes further, calling on judges to confront the government\'s trampling of privacy rights and suggesting that ordinary citizens heed the call for civil disobedience.\"
James Nimmo, and about a dozen other people, pointed the way to This CNET Column on The University of California at San Diego, which has ordered a student organization to delete hyperlinks to an alleged terrorist Web site, citing the recently enacted USA Patriot Act.
School administrators have told the group, called the Che Cafe Collective, that linking to a site supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) would not be permitted because it violated federal law.
Mary Minow provides a detailed and annotated report, in chart form, on key PATRIOT Act issues impacting libraries, including: intercept orders, search warrants, pen/trap orders, subpoenas, and notification for preservation of information.
New on LLRX for September 16, 2002. \"
This one comes by way of the Miami Herald... \"Ten months after it was passed because of the Sept. 11 attacks, the USA Patriot Act remains largely a mystery, its impact still shrouded in complexity and secrecy. The legislation, overwhelmingly approved by Congress after the White House demanded new tools to prevent another terrorist assault, resulted in the largest expansion of police powers in decades. Yet Americans know little about it, Congress is having difficulty getting questions answered and Bush administration officials will not say how it has been used.
Still, the law is perhaps one of the most important legacies of the attacks one year ago.\" Read More.
The Miami Herald Says federal investigators want to strip away the cloak of anonymity that helped Sept. 11 suspects communicate on public library computers without detection. A provision buried within the 342-page Patriot Act, which took effect in October, allows agents to demand records from librarians and booksellers with unprecedented ease.
\'\'Our rights have been taken away. We\'re being forced to go against our professional ethics,\'\' said Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association\'s office for intellectual freedom. ``But the only way to overcome this is to act illegally. It\'s awful.\'\'
John Ashcroft may have to appear in court under subpoena if the Justice Department doesn\'t agree to turn over some records over how often citizens are being monitored. While the Justice Department is monitoring Americans, the Justice Department is also being monitored. \"Very little is known about how often the government relies on the Patriot Act in its terrorism investigations. In July, several libraries across the nation said FBI agents had demanded information on reading records. The process by which the FBI gains access to records under the Patriot Act is quick and mostly secret.\" Read More.
From the Missoula Independent... The Pacific Northwest Library Association recently hald its annual conference. The main topic was the changing roles of librarians in the wake of the USA Patriot Act. \"As a group, librarians are not known for being overly emotional or prone to hyperbole. So when a regional association of librarians gathers to voice its concerns over the erosion of civil liberties and the destruction of historical documents, it might be wise for the rest of us to sit up and take notice.\" Read More.