SRRT Resolutions 2011: Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies

Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies

Adopted by SRRT Action Council, January 8, 2011

WHEREAS, On December 3, 2010, the United States Office of Management and Budget issued an order blocking access to WikiLeaks across all federal agency networks;

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress blocked access to the WikiLeaks site from December 2 to December 7, 2010, across its computer systems, including those for use by patrons in its reading rooms;

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress has issued memos to its employees and posted signs in its reading rooms concerning applicable law, but unblocked its public access computers;

WHEREAS, The OMB order forbids federal employees access to WikiLeaks from their home computer systems and threatens punishment;

WHEREAS, OMB explained its actions by stating that applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information and that unauthorized disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents' classified status or automatically result in declassification;

WHEREAS, On matters of vital public concern, citizens' fullest knowledge and discussion are in the interest of democracy, freedom, peace, rule of law, and good governance here and around the world;

WHEREAS, Blocking access to published information is censorship, and supporting sanctions against reading is endorsing abridgment of intellectual freedom;

WHEREAS, The open publication of documents by WikiLeaks and other agencies of the free press renders the government classification status of these documents irrelevant; and

WHEREAS, The blocking of WikiLeaks curtails the public's right to know, violates the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and fundamentally contradicts the principles of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Library Association (ALA)

  1. Calls for the amendment of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information (December 29, 2009) to exclude publicly available information;
  2. Calls for the amendment of any other executive orders, public laws, or federal regulations that forbid access to publicly available information; and
  3. Calls for all US government agencies to follow the example of the Library of Congress in providing access to documents available on WikiLeaks.

Moved by Mike Marlin. Seconded by Jane Glasby.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 174