The House Un-American Activities Committee turned 79 in May. While it may be uncommon to acknowledge anniversaries on the 9th year instead of the 10th, and HUAC itself ceased operating in any way in 1975, given the current climate, it feels relevant again.
On this day 20 years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion striking down the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”). This statute constituted the first attempt by Congress to regulate the content of material on the Internet. The CDA made it a crime to place content on the Internet that was ‘indecent’ or ‘patently offensive’ if that content would be accessed by minors under the age of 18.
By: Valerie Nye Several months ago, as I was preparing to write for this blog, I sent out emails to listservs asking librarians to tell me about recent intellectual freedom […]
The biggest questions concerning Intellectual Freedom in this country have always revolved around the right to speak, write, or otherwise express dissent on any given topic; most importantly on political or social issues.
In order to avoid the loss of historic information and internet content, the End of Term Presidential Harvest has become a regular activity undertaken by librarians and archivists across the country.
On the EPA’s website of the Office of Science and Technology, the word ‘science’ has been removed from its mission statement. At the University Of California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan, scientists are voicing their concerns about their ability to do their jobs threatened with draconian budget cuts at the Federal level, and the specter of vanishing data sets in Federal repositories. Neither has become a reality, but awareness and action are needed on both fronts.
Article 19 of the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Elections can rile people up. It’s smart for librarians to take a good look around before there’s trouble — starting with library policy.
Freedom of the Press is an important part of our First Amendment Rights. Americans deserve to be well informed about their country, and journalists deserve the right to espouse their opinions about the government. As Thomas Jefferson himself once wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
Due the widespread adoption of digital materials, dwindling budgets, and economies of scale, more library collections aren’t under the control of librarians, who in many cases have essentially ceded control and collection development to outside vendors. Most of the time, the system works well and offers a wealth of material, but it has troubling implications for intellectual freedom.