[Libs-Or] Statement re Department of Justice Report
wyma at newportlibrary.org
Wed May 21 13:19:04 PDT 2003
From: owner-alacoun at ala1.ala.org [mailto:owner-alacoun at ala1.ala.org] On
Behalf Of Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 12:03 PM
The attached statement was issued in response to the release of the
Department of Justice report concerning the USA PATRIOT Act, which included
some information about its implementation in regard to libraries.
The New York Times story on the report may be found at:
For those that prefer embedded text, the statement follows immediately:
"American Library Association Statement
Maurice J. Freedman, President
The documents released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice raise
more questions than they answer. Although the Justice Department referenced
an informal survey, the real number of libraries visited and the
circumstances of those visits are still not known.
The Justice Department, however, was forced to admit in a Congressional
hearing on May 20 that it had brought its expanded powers under the USA
Patriot Act to bear against libraries and library users.
The American Library Association agrees with the ranking member of the House
Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan), that the Justice
Department "could have been more forthcoming in terms of the manner in which
and how freely the new powers have been used."
This vague admission by the Justice Department reinforces the need for
legislative remedy, such as HR1157, the Freedom to Read Protection Act, and
S436, the Domestic Surveillance Oversight Act 2003, especially when the
First Amendment protects every citizen's right to receive information
without fear of government scrutiny.
We applaud House Committee Judiciary Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner,
Jr., for holding this oversight hearing and look forward to more
The American Library Association joins the Department of Justice and all
Americans in its opposition to terrorism. However laws already exist to
fight terrorism without the need for incursions on the civil liberties of
library users and the dismantling of due process."
I hope I'll see all of you in Toronto.
All the best.
Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman, MLS, PhD
Director, Westchester (NY) Library System
410 Saw Mill River Road - Suite 1000
Ardsley, NY 10502-2605
Voice (914) 231-3223; fax: (914) 674-4193
freedman at wlsmail.org
For all matters concerning the U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian,
editor at unabashedlibrarian.com
"I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places..."
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