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Magazines > Information Today > September 2003
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Information Today
Vol. 20 No. 8 — September 2003
World Library Congress Denounces USA PATRIOT Act
By Dick Kaser

They came to Berlin from 133 countries. Leading the pack of delegates to the 69th annual World Library and Information Congress last month were large contingents from Germany, the U.S., Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, France, Sweden, and Denmark. But such familiar suspects accounted for only half of the more than 4,500 delegates at this truly international assemblage of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

They came to Berlin to discuss the barriers to information access wherever in the world they occur and to discuss the potential for libraries to promote access everywhere.

At the top of the IFLA agenda were preparations for the U.N.'s World Summit on the Information Society, which is scheduled to officially begin deliberations in ramp-up events later this year; the status of libraries recently damaged in Iraq; and the threat ofU.S. anti-terrorism legislation on freedom of expression throughout the world.

The federation issued two resolutions, one urging governments to support the restoration of the information infrastructure in Iraq and the other deploring any legislation that "violates human rights to privacy and unhampered access to information in the name of national security." The IFLA resolution called for the repeal or amendment of the USA PATRIOT Act and similar laws in other nations.


Dick Kaser is Information Today, Inc.'s vice president of content. His e-mail address is
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