Censorship of the Press

Posted by Eric Fri, 27 Sep 2002 00:00:00 GMT

The ACLU on new censorship restrictions: This part of the [Patriot] Act overrides existing state and federal privacy laws, allowing the FBI to investigate which books have been bought or borrowed by anyone it suspects of being a terrorist--an extremely broad and vague determination. Further, it prevents librarians and booksellers from revealing that such a search has taken place, and it bars the press from reporting on such searches...

Thus the press and the public have no way of knowing when, where, or how often such searches have been conducted, or what books and readers are being investigated. Normally, when a court imposes a gag rule on pretrial or trial participants, including the press, it may be fought and, in many cases, overturned. The Patriot Act makes such challenges impossible.

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