Governments and the Internet: A Threat to Intellectual Freedom?. Presented by Judy Oberg and Sarah Chase-Kruszewski March 20, 2006 . Introduction. Fact: 84% of people around the world choose the Internet as their first source of information. (OCLC 2005)
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Presented by Judy Oberg and Sarah Chase-Kruszewski
March 20, 2006
Government surveillance and censorship on the Internet
Privacy is often seen as a basic human right, but because no one person interprets this concept in exactly the same way, it is often difficult to define and legislate.
“What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of people, peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
“Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas”.
“A persons right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views”.
“II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”
501 (a) (1) [The FBI] may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
501 (d) No person shall disclose to any other person (other than those persons necessary to produce the tangible things under this section) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section.
which would grant police and national security agencies unprecedented surveillance powers over Internet and cell phone communications.
Protects the privacy of individuals and their information.
Section 215 forces libraries with a connection to the US to turn over library records (including internet use) and not to tell anyone.
Many computer systems used in Canadian libraries are sold and maintained by US companies.
To the Internet
“. . . that unhindered access to information is essential to freedom, equality, global understanding and peace”
IFLA Internet Manifesto
“. . . access should neither be subject to any form of ideological, political or religious censorship . . .”
IFLA Internet Manifesto
Average income in Cuba: $1700 (2003 figures)
“. . . access should neither be subject to any form of ideological, political or religious censorship, nor to economic barriers . . .”
IFLA Internet Manifesto
“All information resources . . . should bereadily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users”
ALA Policy Manual 53.1.14 (Free Access to Information)
“We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and
resist all efforts to censor library resources”
ALA Policy Manual, 54.16 (Intellectual Freedom)
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence…”
Excerpt from Article 12, U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference
. . . regardless of frontiers.”
Article 19, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Use of filters
Suppress dissident voices
Pre-approval of content
Link funding to filtering (US)
Removal of “sensitive” informationCensorship Summary
First Amendment – US Constitution