Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Librarians gagged no more

Four Connecticut librarians, George Christian, Peter Chase, Barbara Bailey and Janet Nocek,
who received a National Security Letter and were under a gag order not to reveal the fact that the FBI had made a demand for patron records, spoke out today on NPR's "All Things Considered." The order effectively meant that the four were unable to voice their opinions regarding the Patriot Act during Congress' recent debate over its renewal.

Chase, the chairman of the Intellectual Freedom Committee for the Connecticut Library Association, expressed his frustration, saying how he would have been arrested if he had revealed the FBI's request and that he had to turn down many speaking engagements regarding the Patriot Act because it would have put him in a position where it may have become known that he was one of the "John Does" in a lawsuit that was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the librarians.

The American Library Association issued a press release in support of the librarians and incoming President Leslie Burger said that the position the four "has taken on behalf of the library community will help lead the way to laws that better reflect what this country stands for."


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