[Libs-Or] USA Patriot Act

Suzanne Sager bvss at pdx.edu
Mon Oct 5 11:17:42 PDT 2009


The Executive Board of the Oregon Library Association (OLA)unanimously 
and enthusiastically adopted the following Resolution on the 2009 
Reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act at our meeting on October 2, 2009.

Suzanne L. Sager
Oregon ALA Chapter Councilor

*Resolution on 2009 reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act*

Whereas, the Oregon Library Association is committed to encouraging free 
and open inquiry by preserving the privacy rights of library users, 
library employees, and persons living in the United States; and

Whereas, the Oregon Library Association opposes governmental actions 
that suppress or chill free and open inquiry and  has called for the USA 
<http://www.ala.org/ala/deletedcontent.cfm?am_cms=%2ftemplate%2ecfm%3fsection%3difissues%26amp%3btemplate%3d%2fcontentmanagement%2fcontentdisplay%2ecfm%26amp%3bcontentid%3d76879&pub_loc=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eala%2eorg%2fala%2foif%2fifissues%2fusapatriotact%2ehtm> to 
be amended to restore fundamental constitutional rights and safeguards 
that protect the civil liberties of library users, library employees, 
and U.S. persons; and

Whereas, Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act allows the FBI to secretly 
request and obtain library records for large numbers of individuals 
without reason to believe they are involved in illegal activity; and

Whereas, Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act permits the FBI to obtain 
records from libraries by using National Security Letters (NSL) without 
prior judicial oversight; and

Whereas, Section 215 automatically requires and Section 505 permits the 
FBI to impose a nondisclosure or "gag" order on the recipients, thereby 
prohibiting the reporting of abuse of government authority and 
abrogating the recipients' First Amendment rights; and

Whereas, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified before the Senate 
Judiciary Committee on March 25, 2009, that the FBI had used Section 215 
of the USA PATRIOT Act 223 times between 2004 and 2007^1 , and the 
Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Justice 
reported in March 2008 that the FBI had made 192,499 National Security 
Letter requests from 2003 through 2006^2 ; and

Whereas, the OIG reported in March 2008 that "the FISA Court twice 
refused to authorize Section 215 orders based on concerns that the 
investigation was premised on protected First Amendment activity, and 
the FBI subsequently issued NSLs to obtain information" without 
reviewing the underlying investigation to be sure it did not violate the 
statute's First Amendment caveat^3 ; and

Whereas, members of Congress have introduced legislation to restore 
privacy rights and address the concerns of the Oregon Library 
Association such as: The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157 in 
the 108th Congress), the National Security Letters Reform Act (S. 2088 
in the 110th Congress and H.R. 1800), The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset 
Extension Act (S. 1692) and the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools in 
Counterterrorism Efforts (JUSTICE) Act (S.1686); now therefore be it

Resolved that the Oregon Library Association:

1. Opposes initiatives on the part of the United States government to 
constrain the free expression of ideas or to inhibit the use of libraries; 

2. Urges Congress to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act's expanded National 
Security Letter Section 505 and Section 215 authorities that allow the 
FBI to demand information about people who are not targets of an 
investigation and to reinstate standards limiting the use of these 
authorities to obtain information only about terrorism suspects and 
agents of foreign powers.

3. Urges Congress to allow nondisclosure or "gag" orders of limited 
scope and duration only when necessary to protect national security and 
only upon the authority of a court, and ensure that targets of such 
orders have a meaningful right to challenge them before a fair and 
neutral arbiter.

4. Urges Congress to intensify its oversight of the use of the USA 
PATRIOT Act as well as other government surveillance and investigations 
that limit the privacy rights of library users, library employees, and 
U.S. persons; and

5. Communicates this resolution to Oregon's Congressional Delegation, 
the Oregon Legislature;  and

6.  Urges its members, Oregon librarians, Oregon library trustees, and 
all library advocates to ask Congress to restore crucial safeguards 
protecting civil liberties.



1.  Robert S. Mueller. (March 25, 2009).  "Oversight of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation," /Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee/.  
Accessed through LexisNexis Congressional database.

2.  Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. (March 
2008).  /A Review of the FBI's Use of National Security Letters: 
Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006/, 
p. 110.  Available at http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/s0803b/final.pdf


3.  Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. (March 
2008).  /A Review of the FBI's Use of Section 215 Orders for Business 
Records in 2006, /p. 73.  Available at 

Portland State University logo

Suzanne L. Sager
Library East, Cataloging
Portland State University

sagers at pdx.edu

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