FC: U.S. libraries cull collections at behest of federal government

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 18:56:09 PST

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "FC: GPO replies to Politech article on libraries destroying data"

    The American Library Association's code of ethics for librarians says:
    >We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all
    >efforts to censor library resources.
    ----- Forwarded message from Eric Cordian <emcat_private> -----
    From: Eric Cordian <emcat_private>
    Subject: Libraries Cull Collections to Make Feds Happy
    To: cypherpunksat_private
    Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 16:38:35 -0800 (PST)
    Here's an interesting little story.  The Feds are rethinking the idea of
    continuing to make documents which detail information about vulnerable
    infrastructure available to the public.
    Indeed, many such documents are no longer on government Web pages.  But
    what to do about the documents already out there?
    No problemo. :)
    The Feds recently sent out a letter to 1300 libraries across the country,
    asking them to destroy a particular document about water supplies.
    The libraries cheerfully complied.
    One wonders if the libraries would have rolled over so easily had the
    government requested the destruction of "The Turner Diaries," "Why
    Buildings Fall Down," or "Heather Has Two Mommies."
    Maybe we need a program to certify people as "Trusted Citizens" in order
    to enable their access to forbidden technologies like chemistry and
    CASTLETON, Vt. -- Under federal orders, two Vermont schools destroyed
    copies of a document about water supplies that had raised security
    concerns after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    The University of Vermont and Castleton College got letters last fall from
    the U.S. Government Printing Office instructing them to destroy the
    little-known document, "Source Area Characteristics of Large Public
    Surface Water Supplies."
    "It's pretty unusual, really," said Ruth Parlin, Castleton's library
    director. "I've never really heard of the government asking libraries to
    destroy something that's already been made available."
    The letter was sent to all 1,300 libraries that serve as federal
    depositories across the country.
    In Vermont, only Castleton and the University of Vermont had the document.
    Both stored it on a CD-ROM.
    "We had someone fold it and it shattered," said Nancy Luzer, who is in
    charge of government documents at Castleton's library.
    Eric Michael Cordian 0+
    O:.T:.O:. Mathematical Munitions Division
    "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law"
    ----- End forwarded message -----
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