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June 20, 2005

Yes, feds quiz librarians

Libraries Say Yes, Officials Do Quiz Them About Users

WASHINGTON, June 19 - Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.

In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden. Other requests were informal - and were sometimes turned down by librarians who chafed at the notion of turning over such material, said the American Library Association, which commissioned the study.

[...]

The study does not directly answer how or whether the Patriot Act has been used to search libraries. The association said it decided it was constrained from asking direct questions on the law because of secrecy provisions that could make it a crime for a librarian to respond. Federal intelligence law bans those who receive certain types of demands for records from challenging the order or even telling anyone they have received it.

As a result, the study sought to determine the frequency of law enforcement inquiries at all levels without detailing their nature. Even so, organizers said the data suggested that investigators were seeking information from libraries far more frequently than Bush administration officials had acknowledged.
[NYT permalink]

Later this week, The American Library Association will present the full results of its PATRIOT study at its 2005 Annual meeting in Chicago.

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Comments

Now the wingnuts will simply insult us on the poor quality and worksmanship of our hats rather than claim they are made of tin foil.

They've never asked me for any. Of course, we don't keep records of what patrons check out once they've turned them in.

What's even creepier about this (IMO) is that the Patriot Act has been used the vast majority of the time for things having nothing to do with terrorism.


That in and of itself is an abuse of that law.

The "PATRIOT" Act was actually a mishmosh of stuff that law enforcement's been after for years. They just smacked a new "Terrah!" label on the same crap and rammed it through.

The PATRIOT act can't be abused in the sense that carla describes -- it's existence *is* an abuse.

I received this in my e-mail today and am very excited that the fight continues. But I need your help and the help of any kids you know. How to help is at the bottom of this blogpost.

Thanks for signing the petition to save NPR and PBS. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1 PM, we'll present stacks and stacks of your signatures and comments at a press conference with members of Congress and the public TV and radio staff fighting for survival, including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Arthur (bring your kids!).

Since you live nearby, can you join us to show support? Congress needs to know this isn't a political game -- millions of real Americans count on public broadcasting and will fight to save it.

WHAT:
Save NPR and PBS petition delivery

WHEN:
Tuesday, June 21st, 1:00 PM

WHERE:
Cannon House Office Building Terrace

*********************

PLEASE HELP:
OK, here is the idea: email me messages from your kids: karen@democracycellproject.net. You can attach photographs of drawings they have made (just take a photo with your digital camera and send me the file along with the message), or they can create messages in word docs; I will print them out and take them with me--

My son and I will both be going to the rally.

Please help us-it will only take a few minutes of your time and it's a very important cause. Thank you.

We can do this by 10 am tomorrow or so, can't we?

[Editor's End Note: This call to action reminds me of the words author Jim Wallis left us with at the TBA conference:"WE are the people we've been waiting for". Let get going and help Karen. ]

I received this in my e-mail today and am very excited that the fight continues. But I need your help and the help of any kids you know. How to help is at the bottom of this blogpost.

Thanks for signing the petition to save NPR and PBS. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1 PM, we'll present stacks and stacks of your signatures and comments at a press conference with members of Congress and the public TV and radio staff fighting for survival, including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Arthur (bring your kids!).

Since you live nearby, can you join us to show support? Congress needs to know this isn't a political game -- millions of real Americans count on public broadcasting and will fight to save it.

WHAT:
Save NPR and PBS petition delivery

WHEN:
Tuesday, June 21st, 1:00 PM

WHERE:
Cannon House Office Building Terrace

*********************

PLEASE HELP:
OK, here is the idea: email me messages from your kids: karen@democracycellproject.net. You can attach photographs of drawings they have made (just take a photo with your digital camera and send me the file along with the message), or they can create messages in word docs; I will print them out and take them with me--

My son and I will both be going to the rally.

Please help us-it will only take a few minutes of your time and it's a very important cause. Thank you.

We can do this by 10 am tomorrow or so, can't we?

[Editor's End Note: This call to action reminds me of the words author Jim Wallis left us with at the TBA conference:"WE are the people we've been waiting for". Let get going and help Karen. ]

Lindsay is HOT!

I'm sick of the Neil Cavuto types "it'll be your fauly if we get hit again" about the patriot act

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