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Old 05-13-2003, 02:18 PM   #1
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Protect the Right to Read

From the ACLU...

Support the Freedom to Read!

May 12, 2003

With the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the FBI gained the power to search your library and book-buying records without probable cause of any crime or intent to commit a crime. Furthermore, librarians and others who are required to turn over records are not allowed to say that the search has occurred or that records were given to the government.

This means that average Americans could have their privacy violated wholesale without justification or proper judicial oversight. Questions from Members of Congress to the Department of Justice about the use of this power have gone unanswered or have received a superficial response.

In response to these un-American and dangerous powers, Rep. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has proposed the "Freedom to Read Protection Act" (HR. 1157). This act would restrict the key provision of the USA PATRIOT Act -- by exempting libraries and bookstores from the laws that allow the FBI to conduct these secretive, warrantless searches of personal records.

Take Action! Urge your Representatives to support the Freedom to Read Protection Act!

*This bill is part of the groundswell against the USA PATRIOT Act.
Resolutions against the PATRIOT Act have passed in 104 communities in 24 states -- including one state-wide resolution in Hawaii. These communities represent approximately 11.1 million people who are concerned about the USA PATRIOT Act and its impacts on civil liberties. In response to one section of the PATRIOT Act alone, many librarians across the country have decided to put up signs warning patrons that the FBI may be snooping in their records.

*This bill restores constitutional protections.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees protections from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Freedom to Read Protection Act will uphold the key principles of privacy and limited government power.

*This bill will prevent invasions of our privacy.
The FBI has been aggressively using its new powers without providing Congress with explanations about its activities. A University of Illinois survey shows libraries were targeted at least 175 times in the year after 9/11 -- yet the FBI refuses to explain how or why.

By visiting http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity...ID=12607&c=110 you can send a free fax to your representative in the House asking them to support this legislation.
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Old 05-13-2003, 02:24 PM   #2
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Faxed form letters are the worst way to contact your representative. Other than postcards.
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Old 05-13-2003, 07:54 PM   #3
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Speaking of extremist right quacks and reasons why not to reelect Bush...

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Old 05-13-2003, 09:23 PM   #4
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This is awful. I work in a library. Why do we have to investigate the private affairs of everyone who uses the library? This stinks.
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Old 05-14-2003, 01:16 AM   #5
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i really don't have a problem with this. it's for our own protection. i seriously doubt that some FBI agent is sitting somewhere giving a shit if you just checked out the new john grisham. i would imagine it would be used for extreme cases. it's funny about the turning over records to the government part of this, too. i work in one of the biggest library districts in the country, and we dont even keep patron records. there is no such thing. we aren't even able to tell a patron the title of the last book they read.

i am a librarian. i know what patrons are reading. am i violating people's rights?
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Old 05-14-2003, 02:01 AM   #6
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Old 05-14-2003, 01:21 PM   #7
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The library where I work doesn't keep a record of what a patron takes out beyond what is currently checked out. You would need a humungous data storage system to keep track of such things!
I'm currently attending library school, and The Patriot Act is a huge deal there—a LOT of discussion about it.
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Old 05-16-2003, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Speaking of extremist right quacks and reasons why not to reelect Bush...

Melon
Exactly.

This totally sucks. What I choose to read is my concern, the government doesn't need to busy themselves with this.

Don't they have more important things they should be focusing on?

I will happily do what I can to protest this...this is just wrong.

Angela
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Old 05-17-2003, 09:15 AM   #9
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bonosgirl, I don't think you quite grasp the gravity of the situation. Perhaps you're not checking out books on, say, how to build your own heat-seeking missile launching pad in your backyard. But maybe you're checking out books about Palestinian liberation, or Das Kapital or The Cantos of Ezra Pound for that matter. And just things like that, obtained secretly and without a warrant, might be enough in the mind of some hair-trigger surveillance agent to "survey" you further. For no reason other than what you might have picked up, for a school project or for a friend or out of sheer curiosity, one day at the library or your neighborhood Barnes and Noble.

To me, that's scary.
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Old 05-17-2003, 11:03 AM   #10
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if there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear. perhaps if some backgrounds and some activities had been better monitored in the past, we would not be in the situation we are in today.
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Old 05-17-2003, 11:55 AM   #11
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On that same note Pax, it will help sort through people who read such things for school projects or miscellaneous other reasons and those who might have a more suspicious cause.
Security Vs Privacy.
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Old 05-17-2003, 12:03 PM   #12
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I won't quote Benjamin Franklin again here, but I really do think that if people are willing to look the other way when our civil liberties are violated in the name of "freedom" or "security," then maybe we don't deserve them.

The Bill of Rights was constructed precisely with times like this in mind, I believe. The amendments were added because the constitutional framers understood that power can be abused, and that temptation would be great to revoke these rights. But the fact is this: it STILL has not been shown that there is an imminent, specific terrorist threat to the United States. We are not actually *at war*, if I'm not mistaken. The terror alert is at "yellow." The domestic terror attacks predicted because of the "war" on Iraq never actually happened.

So why do we need this law now?
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Old 05-18-2003, 01:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I won't quote Benjamin Franklin again here, but I really do think that if people are willing to look the other way when our civil liberties are violated in the name of "freedom" or "security," then maybe we don't deserve them.

The Bill of Rights was constructed precisely with times like this in mind, I believe. The amendments were added because the constitutional framers understood that power can be abused, and that temptation would be great to revoke these rights. But the fact is this: it STILL has not been shown that there is an imminent, specific terrorist threat to the United States. We are not actually *at war*, if I'm not mistaken. The terror alert is at "yellow." The domestic terror attacks predicted because of the "war" on Iraq never actually happened.

So why do we need this law now?
Exactly.

Bonosgirl, it's not so much that we have something to hide. I have nothing to hide.

It's just the fact that our government now thinks that they can invade our privacy. And knowing the administration we have in power, they can take this whole thing as a chance to check up on groups of people they feel are a "threat" of some sort to them.

And that is just flat out wrong.

Angela
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Old 05-18-2003, 12:28 PM   #14
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it's true. it's a very fine line between protecting privacy rights and helping to fight terrorism.

i just hope we, as a nation, are never sorry we didn't see it coming...again.
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