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February 17, 2004

If You Value Your Privacy

read the following press release and sign the petition. Then follow the links and send your congressmen a letter.

Book, Library Groups Launch Petition Drive to Restore Privacy Safeguards to USA PATRIOT Act

(NEW YORK - Feb. 17, 2004) Groups representing booksellers, librarians and writers today launched a nationwide effort to obtain one million signatures in support of legislation to amend Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. The groups hope to persuade Congress to restore safeguards for the privacy of bookstore and library records that were eliminated by the Act.

The Campaign for Reader Privacy - sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association and PEN American Center - will gather signatures in bookstores, libraries and on a new Web site, www.readerprivacy.org. Over the last year, Republicans, Democrats and Independents have joined to sponsor a number of bills to amend Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, including the Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157) and the Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, S. 1709.

"Booksellers are deeply concerned about the chilling effect of Section 215 and President Bush's stated intent to seek blanket reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act," said ABA Chief Operating Officer Oren Teicher.

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to give the FBI vastly expanded authority to search business records, including the records of bookstores and libraries: the FBI may request the records secretly; it is not required to prove that there is "probable cause" to believe the person whose records are being sought has committed a crime; and the bookseller or librarian who receives an order is prohibited from revealing it to anyone except those whose help is needed to produce the records.

Read the full press release and sign the petition here.

Posted by crystallyn at February 17, 2004 07:08 PM

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It's really scary to see how people are losing more and more of their freedoms and privacy every day. Really really scary.

Posted by: Legenae at February 19, 2004 12:49 PM