Thursday, March 15, 2007

Librarians served with National Security Letters to speak at UVM

The two "John Doe" librarians who were served with national security letters as part of a USA Patriot Act investigation last year will talk about their experience at UVM in Burlington, on Tuesday, March 20, at 3:30 PM. Gagged by the Government: Two Connecticut Librarians Tell How They Resisted the USA Patriot Act, comes at the appropriate time now that so much is being disclosed about the field offices' mishandling of these post 9/11 intrusive instruments. According to the DOJ Office of Inspector General, the FBI requested information without proper authorization and collected broader records than the law allows. The report also showed the agency underreported national security letter requests by over 20 percent. To read the full report, click here

Below is a brief description of the talk in Burlington, which is part of VLA's John Swan Intellectual Freedom Lecture:

In the summer of 2005 a Connecticut library consortium called Library Connection received an FBI National Security Letter demanding information. The board refused to comply, and the case went to court. George Christian and Peter Chase will tell their fascinating story about resisting the PATRIOT Act and living under a gag order for eight months.

And while you are interested in civil liberties check out the new reference source at Brooks Memorial Library, Encyclopedia of American civil liberties / Title (2006). From the catalog entry:
This major encyclopedia in American history and law is the first devoted to issues of civil liberties and the meaning of freedom in American life. It covers the traditional civil liberties: freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. In addition, it also covers concerns such as privacy, the rights of the accused, and national security.

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