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Call for Reports on
National Security Legislation

During the World Library and Information Congress in Berlin, there was much debate about the USA PATRIOT Act and similar legislation being enacted elsewhere around the world. The sessions organised by the IFLA Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) committee in particular dealt with the dangers posed by trends towards restricting access in the name of the war against terror.

IFLA President Kay Raseroka said that she was very worried that the emerging democracies would take a lead from the West and use the excuse to reverse the path to free access to information.

At the Council meeting, Al Kagan of the University of Illinois submitted the following resolution that was adopted with no members voting against, and 17 recorded abstentions:

National Security Legislation

"Whereas IFLA understands the need for appropriate national legislation consistent with international conventions to fight terrorism,

And whereas almost all countries have ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically including Article 19,

And whereas IFLA has drawn attention to the consequences for libraries, librarians, and library users of the USA PATRIOT Act,

And whereas national security legislation should not infringe existing civil and privacy rights,

Therefore be it resolved that IFLA deplores the introduction by a number of countries of legislation, which violates fundamental human rights to privacy and unhampered access to information in the name of national security, and calls for the repeal or amendment of all such legislation in order to protect these rights,

And be it resolved that this resolution be disseminated worldwide, and specifically sent to all national library associations with a request that they respond on this matter to the FAIFE Office of IFLA."

To date only a few reports have been submitted to the FAIFE office.

IFLA would therefore kindly remind the association members to submit their reports to the FAIFE Office by 1 July 2004.
E-mail address: susanne.seidelin@ifla.org

Ramachandran Rasu
Secretary General

Susanne Seidelin
Director IFLA/FAIFE Office


Latest Revision: June 09, 2004 Copyright ©
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