Information Update - Fall 2011
After a great deal of controversy and delay, Congress passed a four-year extension of the USA PATRIOT ACT on May 26, 2011, with President Obama signing it into law from France through an electronic signature. The reauthorization leaves unchanged Section 215, the "library provision," which allows the FBI to ask a federal court for access to business records relevant to a terrorist threat – including library records.
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other watchdog organizations had worked for reform of the act. Lynne Bradley, the director of the office of government relations for ALA, expressed the association's regret at the reauthorization by stating that ALA was "more than disappointed in the final outcome." (Kelley, M. (2011, May 27). Patriot Act extended for four years with no change to 'Library Records Provision.' LibraryJournal.com. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/890795-264/patriot_act_extended_for_four.html.csp.
USA PATRIOT ACT Reauthorized