“The American Library Association is accepting donations for its E-Spy program to keep Big Brother out of the library. If you choose to contribute, do as I did and tell them to thank John Ashcroft for inspiring the donation.
From the American Library Association (also available online at http://www.ala.org/espydonation):
'The USA PATRIOT Act expands the federal governments authority to investigate American citizens. Since the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, it is possible that library users activities may be monitored by the federal government. FBI agents can obtain court orders that allow them to examine user circulation records and Internet use records. Some court orders even allow agents to monitor email and chat room activities without probable cause.
Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. In a library, the subject of a users interests should not be examined or scrutinized by others, especially our government. Provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act seriously undermine our civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution.
ALA is collecting funds to support its educational and legal efforts to counteract the federal government's intrusion upon the rights of library users. Please make a contribution today to support its work on your behalf! It is important that both librarians and library patrons know their rights and know how to protect their civil liberties.
To make a donation to Keep Big Brother Out of Your Library, please mail your check, payable to ALA, to ALA Development Office, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, and earmark your tax-deductible contribution for E-SPY. Or, you can make an online credit card contribution. If you have questions, please contact Lainie Castle in the ALA Development Office (312.280.5050) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.'