100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999
1984 Is Here! an article from the Council for Secular Humanism on Poindexter's Total Information Awareness system
ALTERNATE NEWS SOURCES page of links
Art Spiegelman, cartoonist for The New Yorker, resigns in protest at censorship Art Spiegelman decided to leave The New Yorker in protest at what he calls "the widespread conformism of the mass media in the Bush era." ... "From the time that the Twin Towers fell, it seems as if I've been living in internal exile, or like a political dissident confined to an island. I no longer feel in harmony with American culture, especially now that the entire media has become conservative and tremendously timid"
Banned and Challenged Books
Banned Books and Censorship: Information and Resources
Banned Books in Texas report from the Texas ACLU on textbook censorship
Banned Books Week (ALA)
Bonfire of Liberties: Censorship of the Humanities
Censored "This exhibition hopes not so much to judge censors and censorship but instead to provoke questions. Every day some form of censorship occurs in the United States. This prevalence of the red pen in a country founded on the Bill of Rights suggests that most people consider some things or ideas too dangerous or offensive to be made widely available. Is there a line in the sand? And if so, where do you stand? Where are your limits of tolerance?"
CENSORED NEWS --page of links related to media censorship
Censorship and Challenges ALA links to information on the First Amendment and intellectual freedom, and additional information on censorship and challenges
Censorware human rights groups and political candidates that have been blocked by blocking software; articles on blocking software
The Censorware Page "reports on the errors and excesses of leading censorware products"
Center for Democracy and Technology
Dissent & Debunking Social Myths --Colby Glass page
EchelonWatch.org "Echelon is perhaps the most powerful intelligence gathering organization in the world"
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
"The Fallacy of Protecting Kids From Porn" by Amy Benfer, Salon Magazine
FILTERING notes and links
Free Speech Movement Digital Archive protest documents, oral histories, chronology, video and sound recordings
Freedom House founded by Eleanor Roosevelt; tracks print freedom around the world
Freedom of Expression: First Amendment issues
Freedom of Information Act --FBI Reading Room of most requested documents
Freedom to Read ALA statement... essential to our democracy
Information Warfare "issues involving information security, information operations, computer network operations, homeland security and more" - its INFOCON Threat Centre monitors and analyzes cyberthreat trends across the world
Intellectual Freedom Manual American Library Association
Internet Speech - "Filters Face Free-Speech Test" 4/20/01 article on San Francisco librarians refusing to censor the Internet
Jefferson Muzzle Awards calls attention to outstanding efforts at censorship in the previous year; a dubious distinction
Jefferson Muzzles awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment - "calling attention to those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson's admonition that freedom of speech "cannot be limited without being lost." "
MIT Student Association for Freedom of Expression
"The Morality Police" by Charles Taylor, Salon Magazine
Most Banned Books of the 1990s
Most Challenged Authors from ALA
Most Frequently Challenged Books from ALA
National Coalition Against Censorship quarterly; covers freedom of expression issues
Operation TIPS TIPS report TIPS informants - "Not since the East German Stasi have so many people been asked to spy on their fellow citizens"
"Porn, Guns, Curses and Kids" Alternet article
Quiet Censorship in Hollywood McCarthy-like atmosphere pervades tinsel town after 9/11
Shame on the AFMA reverse domain name hijacking and free speech
Student Press Law Center "an advocate for student free-press rights, and provides information, advice, and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them"
Tim Robbins: Countering a Wave of Hate speech given to the National Press Club in Washington, DC on April 15, 2003
Workplace Surveillance Project "The Extent of Systematic Monitoring of Employee E-Mail and Internet Use" -- a full text report
We are not afraid to entrust the American people
with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies,
and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid
to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an
open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.|
"Censorship breeds ignorance."
(ACLU Report on Banned Books, 2006).
"At the behest of the chemical boys, oil giants, and other polluters, George W.'s corporate-serving monkey-wrenchers have gone after the Environmental Protection Agency's network of regional research libraries. Good grief--librarians? Why would the polluter powers bother with these simple keepers of knowledge?
"Precisely because knowledge is power... the EPA libraries are treasure troves of organized, detailed information about specific polluters--what they are doing, where they're doing it, and to whom. Corporations don't like it when We the People have knowledge that can be used to halt their polluting...
"Already, they've closed libraries in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, and Washington, as well as the EPA's principal library for evaluating new chemicals. In the agency's five remaining libraries, hours have been severely shortened, and public access has been curtailed" (Hightower, Jim. "Ignorance is Power." Texas Observer, Dec. 15, 2006: 15).
"At the beginning of May, USA Today reported that telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Inc. and Verizon had provided the National Security Agency with records of phone calls made by millions of Americans. The ACLU has called it "the most massive invasion of privacy in American history".
"A group of Texans recently joined the fray by filing a class-action lawsuit against San Antonio-based AT&T, Inc. alleging that the corporation illegally sold their private records to the government" ("First-Class Action." Texas Observer, June 16, 2006: 5).
"Since President George W. Bush entered office, the pace of classification activity has increased by 75 percent, said William Leonard in March 2 congressional testimony. His Information Security Oversight Office oversees the classification system and recorded a rise from 9 million classification actions in fiscal year 2001 to 16 million in fiscal year 2004.
"Yet an even more aggressive form of government information control has gone unenumerated and often unrecognized in the Bush era, as government agencies have restricted access to unclassified information in libraries, archives, Web sites, and official databases. Once freely available, a growing number of these sources are now barred to the public as "sensitive but unclassified" or "for official use only." Less of a goal-directed policy than a bureaucratic reflex, the widespread clampdown on formerly public information reflects a largely inarticulate concern about "security." It also accords neatly with the Bush administration's preference for unchecked executive authority...
"The Pentagon phone book is a useful tool for reporters, students of defense policy, or others who might wish to contact the Pentagon or gauge the size and shape of the bureaucracy. Anyone could buy it at the Government Printing Office Bookstore until 2001, when it was marked "for official use only." A GPO Bookstore notice advises that it is no longer for sale to the public...
"...government agencies took to scrubbing public records at the National Archives and elsewhere, pulling untold thousands of public records for "review" and possible reclassification. Many 30- or 50-year-old archival collections are a shadow of what they were just a few years ago. On a recent visit to the National Archives, American University historian Anna Nelson recalled, "I found four boxes of Nixon documents full of nothing but withdrawal cards," signifying records that had been removed" (Steven Aftergood. "The Age of Missing Information: The Bush administration's campaign against openness." Slate, Mar. 17, 2005).
"Meanwhile, over in the groves of academe, Native-American activist Ward Churchill was disinvited from a speaking engagement at Hamilton College because of an essay in which he called the CIA office workers who died in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns." Not to be outdone, Bill O'Reilly, in a column on his website, called the entire tenure system "a dastardly con that protects teachers for life. They know they can't be fired so they become little Ayatollahs." Calls abounded for Churchill to be fired from his home institution, the University of Colorado, and he has already resigned his chairmanship of the department of ethnic studies. No such fate has been suggested for the powerful, corporate-sponsored O'Reilly.
"In this war of words and polemical personalities, there is an increasing privatization of speech. New, well-funded organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) specifically urge universities to monitor and divest themselves of those engaged in "rank political indoctrination" -- which even they rather sheepishly acknowledge is an awfully thin line away from political speech. The model of the university they espouse is not the one envisioned by Louis Brandeis, to whom even open antagonism was a necessary component of civic engagement because "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people... The path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies." These days, the ability to speak has become subject to the whims of a literal rather than metaphorical marketplace. According to FIRE, "voluntary association" is a measure of academic freedom and funding is an "expressive act."
"And so we find ourselves in an era when speakers like Michae Moore are spurned by campuses because major donors might get upset and students don't want their funds spent on anything they don't agree with. We seem to have entered a time of shunning that bears a passing strange resemblance to blacklisting. And with that shunning an ethic of "don't listen." "A scholar," says FIRE, "is entitled to shout his ideas from the rooftops, but he or she is not also entitled to do so in front of an audience or to do so while being bankrolled by those who deeply disagree with those ideas"" (Patricia J. Williams. "Power and the Word." The Nation, Feb. 28, 2005: 10).
"Relations between Japan and China have plunged to their lowest point in more than a decade after a weekend of violent anti-Japanese protests in Beijing and other cities.
"In the biggest demonstration in the Chinese capital since 1999 at least 5,000 people joined a rally last Saturday in support of a boycott of Japanese goods. They kicked Japanese cars and stoned the embassy...
""We must show the Japanese pigs how we feel," said a Mr. Liu, an IT engineer in his 30s...
Tokyo has demanded an apology, compensation and a promise that it would not happen again.
"The march was spurred by Japan's approval of a new history textbook that whitewashes its wartime atrocities, including the forced recruitment of thousands of sex slaves and biological weapons experiments on civilians" (Jonathan Watts. "Chinese Urge Japan Boycott." Guardian Weekly, April 15-21, 2005: 9).
"For the past seven years, Father Thomas Reese, as editor of the Jesuit weekly America, opened its pages to most of the controversies within the Catholic Church--abortion, condoms, stem-cell research, sexuality and church governance. The former Cardinal Ratzinger, guardian of doctrine in the Vatican, made known his extreme displeasure with the magazine. Now Father Reese has resigned. Reportedly, Jesuit headquarters in Rome thought that a conciliatory gesture to the new Pope was appropriate, but many American Catholics are appalled. They fear that the former Cardinal, no Pope Benedict XVI, will continue to censor debate in the church" ("In Fact." The Nation, May 30, 2005: 6).
"The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press...
"As an unnamed Bush official told reporter Ron Suskind, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality"...
"They are taking aggressive action: preventing journalists from doing their job by withholding routine information; deliberately releasing deceptive information on a regular basis; bribing friendly journalists to report the news in a favorable context; producing their own "news reports" and distributing these free of charge to resource-starved broadcasters; creating and crditing their own political activists as "journalists" working for partisan operations masquerading as news organizations...
"...all these efforts are aimed at a single goal: the destruction of democratic accountability and the media's role in insuring it.
"The Bush attack on the press has three primary components--Secrecy, Lies and Fake News...
"Since President George W. Bush entered the office, the pace of classification activity has increased by 75 percent...
"In addition, as Aftergood notes, "an even more aggressive form of government information control has gone unenumerated and often unrecognized in the Bush era, as government agencies have restricted access to unclassified information in libraries, archives, websites and official databases." These sources were once freely available but are now being withdrawn from view under the classification "sensitive but unclassified" or "for official use only." They include: the Pentagon telephopne directory, the Los Alamos technical report library, historical records at the National Archives and the Energy Department intelligence budget, among many others. Even more alarming is the web of secrecy surrounding the operations of what has become the equivalent of a police state at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons around the world, where the accused are routinely denied due process and traditional rules of evidence are deemed irrelevant...
"...the conservative media... refuse to report facts when they conflict with White House spin...
""What's going on here is something like lying by reflex... Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother...
"Nuclear materials: The Los Angeles Times recently reported that government scientists apparently submitted phony data to demonstrate that a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada's Yucca Mountain would be safe...
"IN these two emblematic cases, as it has done so many times before, the Administration simply issued its own pronouncements, ignored reality and went its merry way, damn the consequences both for the reality of its policies and for its own credibility. Those found guilty of deception did not mind the one-day story that would result demonstrating them to be liars...
"The Bush Administration has invested untold millions in video "news releases" that disguise themselves as genuine news reports and are frequently broadcast by irresponsible local news programs. In three separate opinions in the past year, the Congressional Government Accountability Office held that government-made news segments may constitute improper "covert propaganda"...
"The reports are clearly designed to simulate legitimate news programming...
"These phony news reports have much in common with stage-managed "public" presidential events that bar all potential dissenters and script virtually every utterance...
"In addition to creating its own mediated version of reality, the Administration has also invested considerable resources in corrupting members of the media with cash payments...
"Our once noble calling is increasingly difficult to distinguish from things that look like journalism but are primarily advertising, press agentry, or entertainment" (Eric Alterman. "Bush's War on the Press." The Nation, May 9, 2005: 11-20).
"China will bar new foreign television channels and step up censorship of imported programmes, the culture ministry announced, adding to efforts to tighten the government's control over popular culture...
"Beijing will also ban new licences for companies to import newspapers and magazines, electronic publications, audiovisual products and children's cartoons, the ministry said. New limits will be imposed on the number of foreign copyrighted products Chinese companies are allowed to publish...
"The measures are a step back from more liberal rules announced late last year to open China's media market" (Joe McDonald. "China bans new foreign channels." Guardian Weekly, Aug. 12, 2005: 9).
"...on the issue of disinformation, resolving that ALA "go on record as being opposed to the use by government of disinformation, media manipulation, the destruction and excision of public information, and other such tactics." The resolution also called on ALA to "teach and nurture 21st century information literacy skills among the American public to help them detect disinformation, media manipulation, and missing information"" (LJ Academic Newswire, Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 via email).
Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS