2003 March 12

California Libraries Warn of Government Snooping


In response to government requests for the library circulation records of certain people, public libraries in California posted notices to its patrons about government surveillance, which was allowed under the USA PATRIOT Act (October 26, 2001). The Santa Monica public libraries, it was reported on this day, posted a sign advising that “The FBI has the right to obtain a court order to access any records we have of your transactions in the library, a right given to them by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.” On January 23, 2003, the American Library Association had issued a policy advising libraries across the country on how to respond to government requests for records.

Learn more: Herbert Foerstel, Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Patriot Act in Libraries (2004)

Learn more from the ALA about the Library Awareness Program: http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=ifissues&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=21662

Learn more at the American Library Association: http://www.ala.org/

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