USA PATRIOT Act: Doe v. Gonzales

For the latest news on the USA PATRIOT Act, visit USA PATRIOT Act News. For information about USA PATRIOT Act legislation, vist the ALA Washington Office, USA PATRIOT Act of 2001.

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image of librarians, hand in hand, protecting the constitution of the united states

This cartoon is copyrighted by Bob Englehart, the artist, and is used by the permission of Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index. This cartoon is available for purchase and terms of use at the cartoonist's syndication service, Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index. All Rights Reserved.

Library Connection’s “John Doe” Court Records Released (August 4, 2006): "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered August 2 the full disclosure of court records related to Doe v. Gonzales—the challenge to the FBI’s 2005 demand that Connecticut’s Library Connection consortium turn over records of patrons’ computer use. The next day, the American Civil Liberties Union posted the documents, which include Justice Ginsburg’s October 7, 2005, decision not to reverse a lower-court gag order on Library Connection officers Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, George Christian, and Janet Nocek; the unredacted National Security Letter (NSL) that the plaintiffs had challenged; and the September 21, 2005, New York Times article identifying the Library Connection as John Doe based on an insufficiently redacted Justice Department filing that had been posted online."

Resolution to Commend the John Does of the Library Connection (June 28, 2006): The Intellectual Freedom Committee joins our colleagues and all others who value privacy as an eternal value in thanking George Christian, Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, and Janet Nocek for their courageous personal and professional stand to defend intellectual freedom in libraries.

Therefore, the IFC urges Council to adopt this resolution to commend the stand of our courageous colleagues, and moves the adoption of "Resolution to Commend the John Does of the Library Connection" (attached as CD#19.5 to the AC 2006 IFC Report to Council):

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association strongly commend the stand of the Connecticut John Does—George Christian, Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, and Janet Nocek—in their successful legal battle to defend the privacy of library user records; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association condemn the use of National Security Letters to demand any library records; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association reaffirm its opposition to sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that infringe on library patrons' ability to access library services without privacy safeguards.

Adopted by the ALA Council, unanimously, on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Government Drops Demand for Library Records (June 26, 2006): "The American Civil Liberties Union today declared victory in their legal battle with the FBI over a Connecticut library group's right to keep patron records private. After dropping their vehement defense of the gag provision accompanying the request, the FBI has now abandoned the demand all together"

Four Connecticut Librarians Shed John Doe Gag (June 2, 2006): "'I am relieved that a federal court has at long last lifted a Patriot Act gag order and allowed me to acknowledge that I am the recipient of a National Security Letter [NSL] on behalf of my organization, Library Connection,' asserted Executive Director George Christian at a May 30 press conference at the New York City headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union. The statement ended months of speculation that the Library Connection—a nonprofit consortium of 27 public and academic libraries in central Connecticut—is the John Doe plaintiff in Doe v. Gonzales. Christian was joined by fellow "Doe" plaintiffs Barbara Bailey, Library Connection board president and director of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury; Vice-president Peter Chase, director of the Plainville Public Library; and Secretary Janet Nocek, Portland Library director."