ARCHIVED: Washington Office Engaged in Anti-terrorism Legislation

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October 4, 2001


The AALL's Washington Affairs Office is actively trying to shape the anti-terrorism legislation currently in Congress so that the bill does not infringe on privacy and First Amendment rights.

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration sent Congress an anti-terrorism package of legislation that, among other things, broadly expands existing surveillance powers by law enforcement. If passed, many fear it will trample on the privacy and First Amendment rights of individuals. The library community is particularly concerned that some of the proposals may make it easier to access library circulation records and Internet use records by lowering standards and eliminating judicial review. Working jointly with the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries, the Washington Affairs Office has been closely engaged in these anti-terrorism proposals by:

The House and Senate Judiciary Committees are holding hearings this week and marking up the administration's anti-terrorism measure, now renamed the "Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act of 2001." The Washington Affairs Office is working with its IDOF coalition partners to negotiate amendments to the bill.