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FW: [ANTHRO-L] USA Patriot Act & Rights of Library Users

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    FYI This is the text of the important resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act. This resolution is the result of many hours of work by the ALA [American
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2003
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      FYI


      This is the text of the important resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act.
      This resolution is the result of many hours of work by the ALA [American
      Library Association] Committee on Legislation, the ALA Intellectual Freedom
      Committee and numerous other library groups.


      2002-2003 CD # 20.1
      2003 ALA Midwinter Meeting

      RESOLUTION ON THE USA PATRIOT ACT AND
      RELATED MEASURES THAT INFRINGE ON THE
      RIGHTS OF LIBRARY USERS


      WHEREAS, the American Library Association affirms the
      responsibility of the leaders of the United States to protect and
      preserve the freedoms that are the foundation of our democracy;
      and

      WHEREAS, libraries are a critical force for promoting the free
      flow and unimpeded distribution of knowledge and information
      for individuals, institutions, and communities; and

      WHEREAS, the American Library Association holds that
      suppression of ideas undermines a democratic society; and

      WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech,
      free thought, and free association; and, in a library, the subject of
      users' interests should not be examined or scrutinized by others;
      and

      WHEREAS, certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, the
      revised Attorney General Guidelines to the Federal Bureau of
      Investigation, and other related measures expand the authority of
      the federal government to investigate citizens and non-citizens, to
      engage in surveillance, and to threaten civil rights and liberties
      guaranteed under the United States Constitution and Bill of
      Rights; and

      WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act and other recently
      enacted laws, regulations, and guidelines increase the likelihood
      that the activities of library users, including their use of
      computers to browse the Web or access e-mail, may be under
      government surveillance without their knowledge or consent;
      now, therefore, be it

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association opposes
      any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open
      exchange of knowledge and information or to intimidate
      individuals exercising free inquiry; and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association
      encourages all librarians, library administrators, library governing
      bodies, and library advocates to educate their users, staff, and
      communities about the process for compliance with the USA
      PATRIOT Act and other related measures and about the
      dangers to individual privacy and the confidentiality of library
      records resulting from those measures; and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges
      librarians everywhere to defend and support user privacy and
      free and open access to knowledge and information; and, be it
      further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association will work
      with other organizations, as appropriate, to protect the rights of
      inquiry and free expression; and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association will take
      actions as appropriate to obtain and publicize information about
      the surveillance of libraries and library users by law enforcement
      agencies and to assess the impact on library users and their
      communities; and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges all
      libraries to adopt and implement patron privacy and record
      retention policies that affirm that "the collection of personally
      identifiable information should only be a matter of routine or
      policy when necessary for the fulfillment of the mission of the
      library" (ALA Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill
      of Rights); and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that the American Library Association considers
      that sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT are a present danger
      to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users and
      urges the United States Congress to:

      1) provide active oversight of the implementation of the USA
      PATRIOT Act and other related measures, and the revised
      Attorney General Guidelines to the Federal Bureau of
      Investigation;

      2) hold hearings to determine the extent of the surveillance on
      library users and their communities; and

      3) amend or change the sections of these laws and the
      guidelines that threaten or abridge the rights of inquiry and free
      expression; and, be it further

      RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to the President
      of the United States, to the Attorney General of the United
      States, to Members of both Houses of Congress, to the library
      community, and to others as appropriate.

      Initiated by: Committee on Legislation
      Cosponsored by: Committee on Legislation and Intellectual
      Freedom Committee
      Endorsed by: OITP Advisory Committee, LITA, Intellectual
      Freedom Roundtable
      Endorsed in principle by: ACRL, ALTA Executive Board, ALSC,
      ASCLA, AASL Legislation Committee
      Prior History: CD#19.1 January 2002, CD#20.5 January 2002,
      CD#20.3 January 2002

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