Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Librarian of Congress Nominee Carla Hayden Misleads Congress But Speaks Truth About Filtering

Librarian of Congress nominee Carla Hayden misleads Congress but also speaks the truth about Internet filtering.  On 20 April 2016, she appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.  She spoke with Chairman Senator Roy Blunt at the confirmation hearing about the American Library Association [ALA] on matters regarding child safety and the Internet.  She is the former ALA President who presided when the US Supreme Court decided United States v. American Library Association, 539 US 194 (2003).  US v. ALA ruled there is no First Amendment right to Internet pornography in public libraries.

Below is a transcript of a portion of her testimony, followed by how she misled Congress and what she said that was right.  She should not be confirmed.

Here is video of the portion of the testimony transcribed below:


TRANSCRIPT OF DR. CARLA HAYDEN, 20 APRIL 2016

Senator Roy Blunt:
Got a couple of other questions. You know, being the President of the American Library Association is I'm sure a great honor, but maybe not an unmixed blessing because suddenly you’re responsible for everything that's being talked about as part of the Association. There a couple of, couple areas of criticism that you and I have talked about and I'd like to get your response to those on the record today. One was when the, when the Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act, um, the, uh, American Library Association challenged the constitutionality of that arguing that it violated, uh, the First Amendment. And I know beginning then as a leader of the national organization through really, up till now you’ve, you’ve commented on this several times, but, you wanna talk about that whole issue of, uh, what kind of violation that would have been and then the issue of what kinds of things need to happen in a library to be sure the children don't have access to material that we wouldn't want children to have access to, and then how often you have to revisit that whole concept?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
I really appreciate, um, that question, Senator, because there's been quite a bit of just misinterpretation of the Library Association’s position during that time.  That was in 2003/2004, and at that time the filters that would have been required, um, for libraries to install were found to prohibit access to very important health information and the most notable at that time was breast cancer. And since that time, um, the technology has improved and the filters that are installed to receive federal funding in my, my library, The Pratt Library, and in its state role has installed filters, have improved, and the need to be vigilant is also something that libraries are doing in not only to the technological aspect but just plain physical arrangements of computers, making sure that there are face-out positioning of computer monitors, as well as very few, if any, cubicles that contain computers as well. And education and making sure that people know that pornography is illegal and we do not support that in any shape or form.

Senator Roy Blunt:
So you don’t think, you don't think that pornography, illegal, as you described it, has a place in the library?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
Not online, no.

Senator Roy Blunt:
And there are at the same time, things in lib-, in the library that aren't appropriate for everybody that visits the library to see.

Dr. Carla Hayden:
Right. And, Senator, the way you, um, described it is, is, is exactly the way that libraries even design their buildings and the furniture and making sure there’s even signage that, uh, unaccompanied adults in children sections are, um, are going to be questioned. There are so many safety measures that are put in public libraries and even college and university libraries to make sure that, um, minors are safe and that they are not exposed to, um, objectionable material, as far as we can prevent.

Senator Roy Blunt:
And while your final degree was a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, a very highly respected institution, your, a lot of your early work was as a children's librarian, a lot of early focus was that, so these are issues that you have always cared about?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
Yes, and its been, um, interesting to see how, and I mentioned earlier, with the, uh, "C" for caution with copyright, that if you pay attention in the front end that it sometimes really helps in terms of later and working with young people and seeing what imagination can be sparked. 3D printers now are in libraries and that’s the perfect time to let young people know that all of this information that you can now get on your device is not free for you to use and just, uh, put your name on it. So, I've been very involved in youth issues for quite a while.

Senator Roy Blunt:
Well I thought, I thought, uh, just the example you gave of how you early on expressed to somebody the importance of their own creative work was an indication of the way you would approach a number of these issues. On another, uh, thing from the American Library Association, when the PATRIOT Act was passed, um, librarians objected to a particular part of that and, in fact fact, the law was changed I think for what's now called the Librarian's Provision. You wanna talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
Yes, that was a, um, quite a time, that was also in 2003/2004, and the entire nation was concerned about security, and it was a time of great apprehension and people were going into libraries to find information about all of the different aspects of what was going on and the library community was just conc-, very concerned that in the quest for, um, security and making sure, uh, that we were all safe that the public's rights were also considered as well. And since that time there have been a number of reforms to the PATRIOT Act with the approval of Congress that have helped alleviate the library communities concerns and we are, and I think I can also, uh, say that the American Library Association is, um, very pleased at the progress that’s been made to balance security and personal rights.

Senator Roy Blunt:
And so would an example of that, Dr. Hayden, would an example of that be under that, uh, under that original discussion there was some thought that law enforcement might be able to come in and just say we'd like to look through your records and see who's been looking at certain books, certain, looking up certain things, or even we'd like to look at a certain person’s, uh library record, without a court saying that that was necessary, was that the concern?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
That was um the the basis of it, and especially the bulk collection of information about who was interested in a subject. What we were concerned about and especially at that time in 2003/2004, that interest in a subject would be or could be misinterpreted as intent to do something. So interest and intent were not equal, we were saying.

Senator Roy Blunt:
I think that's um, that’s a position I believe the country has generally come, come to, and I think your explanation of 2002 and 3 was also a good one that everybody’s trying to figure out what, what can we do to stop this from happening again and sometimes that requires a lengthy discussion as to the right way to do that. Any, uh, follow up questions, Senator Cochran, Senator Boozman? Well, we will, um, have the record open until the time I announced earlier for, uh, additional questions. Anything you want to add, Dr. Hayden, that you wished had been asked that wasn't, any topic, uh, you wanna cover?

Dr. Carla Hayden:
Well, I had a few. Uh, and I, I just wanted though to, to thank everyone, um, for their support and for your consideration, um, Mr. Chairman, and, um, I really appreciate this opportunity and to be nominated it as a librarian, a career, career librarian, I must tell you this one of the highest honors and I thank you for this opportunity.

Senator Roy Blunt:
Thank you. This hearing’s adjourned.


HOW DR. CARLA HAYDEN MISLED CONGRESS

Dr. Carla Hayden materially misled Congress by saying ALA is about "making sure that people know that pornography is illegal and we do not support that in any shape or form."  That is false.

ALA's position is not that pornography is illegal.  Rather, it is that pornography has no legal definition ("The word 'pornography' has no meaning in the law, and there is no agreed-upon definition for the term.").  As James LaRue, the Director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom wrote to me just yesterday, "you should know by now that THERE IS NO LEGAL DEFINITION OF PORNOGRAPHY."  Emphasis his.  It's as if US v. ALA doesn't exist.

So for Carla Hayden to say the ALA is about making sure "people know that pornography is illegal" is simply false.  Had she told the truth of ALA's position, that pornography has no legal definition therefore librarians must not take action to block it, she would have portrayed ALA as the extremist organization it is with her as its former extremist leader.  This is why she lied.  She wants to get into the Librarian of Congress position, and from there she can force the ALA worldview on the entire nation, not just public and school libraries.

Even Senator Roy Blunt picked up on her claim ALA is concerned about "making sure that people know that pornography is illegal" as he followed up saying, "So you don’t think, you don't think that pornography, illegal, as you described it, has a place in the library?"  Carla Hayden responded, "not online, no."

Also, librarians will not protect children from pornography, only parents ("What About Protecting Children From Pornography, Whether Or Not It Is Legally Obscene?  The primary responsibility for rearing children rests with parents. If parents want to keep certain ideas or forms of expression away from their children, they must assume the responsibility for shielding those children. Governmental institutions cannot be expected to usurp or interfere with parental obligations and responsibilities when it comes to deciding what a child may read or view.")  Even ALA's so-called "Library Bill of Rights" makes it age discrimination for librarians to keep any material whatsoever from children.

ALA is so extreme that it trains librarians not to report child pornography!  The source comes directly from ALA:


Libraries and librarians are not in a position to make those decisions for library users or for citizens generally. Only courts have constitutional authority to determine, in accordance with due process, what materials are obscenity, child pornography, or “harmful to minors.”
....
As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws.  Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material.
So, straight from ALA's "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy," librarians are or have been trained they are in no position to decide what is child pornography.

Based on that (they are not judges) it tells them not to help the police. Still more policy (not shown above) tells them to delete public records such as browser histories precisely to thwart the police.

ALA plays a game. "Only courts have constitutional authority to determine, in accordance with due process, what materials are ... child pornography...."  That is an impossible standard.  Impossible.  Why?  Because the standard requires that a judge determine if a web site is child porn before a librarian may also determine whether it is child porn by following the judge's lead.  Sounds good, right?  It's not.  There are hundreds of thousands of child porn web sites.  There would have to be hundreds of thousands of completed cases to find them to be child porn.  That is an impossible standard.  It will never happen.  In the infinitely impossible chance that it would, perhaps via class action or mass tort liability, by that time another hundred thousand sites would replace those.

It is just ridiculous to demand that a librarian may only determine what is a child porn site if a court first makes that decision.  Yet Carla Hayden says ALA is about "making sure that people know that pornography is illegal and we do not support that in any shape or form."  That is false and it is knowingly false given has was ALA's former leader and her statements were intended to mislead Congress about ALA so her nomination would be confirmed.  Then she would be in a position to apply ALA's extremist child pornography views to the nation as a whole.

To exemplify the seriousness of the matter, libraries are following ALA's guidance and covering up instances of child pornography.  One such library did that in Illinois.  Here is its legal council advising the library not to report child porn viewing and instead protect the patron privacy of the child porn viewers:


Were Carla Hayden to have told Congress the truth, she would have said ALA advises librarians not to report child pornography, not to help the police, and protect the patron privacy rights of the child porn viewers.  Had she said that, the nation would have had an eye opening and shocking moment of truth, and she would never be confirmed for Librarian of Congress.  Instead, she lied, saying ALA wants to "mak[e] sure that people know that pornography is illegal and we do not support that in any shape or form."

So Carla Hayden successfully lied about ALA, saying what the public believes but not what she knows is happening since she once led the effort to mislead the public as ALA's president, thereby accomplishing two goals.  She ensured people will stay ignorant of the harm caused by the extremist ALA, and she is setting herself up to be confirmed as Librarian of Congress where she will spread ALA's pro-child porn policy nationwide and no one will lift a finger to stop her.

Later she says, "There are so many safety measures that are put in public libraries and even college and university libraries to make sure that, um, minors are safe and that they are not exposed to, um, objectionable material, as far as we can prevent."  As explained above and supported with sources from ALA itself, that is just false.  ALA has no concern in the slightest for the safety of minors.  After ALA ensured a library in Illinois retained Playboy magazine despite an unanimous government asking the library to stop buying the magazine since it was making it available to children, ALA's de facto leader Judith Krug told the Chicago Tribune, "I get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children."

That's the true ALA.  Not the false picture Carla Hayden portrayed to make ALA look good and to mislead Congress into confirming her nomination for Librarian of Congress.

And libraries are true to ALA.  One library in New Jersey had a complaint from a mother about her eleven-year-old boy seeing hardcore pornography in the children's section of the library.  The library reacted by blaming the boy and holding secret meetings in violation of state sunshine laws to insert ALA's pro child-porn policies into its own policy to ensure children could continue to access pornography on the computers in the children' section.  The library even destroyed public records in violation of yet another law to thwart the application of more state sunshine laws.  And the policy changes it made in secret where the exact recommendations of ALA, almost word for word.  I filed suit against this library, the case is still open, and the children still get access to hardcore porn in the children's section.

So when Carla Hayden says, "There are so many safety measures that are put in public libraries and even college and university libraries to make sure that, um, minors are safe and that they are not exposed to, um, objectionable material, as far as we can prevent," that is knowingly and purposefully false.

Again, had she said the truth, that ALA regards minors exactly as adults and allows them to access Internet pornography despite state laws that instantiate libraries preventing that, and despite the US Supreme Court and common sense, she would have shocked the nation and would never be confirmed.


WHAT DR. CARLA HAYDEN GOT RIGHT

Dr. Carla Hayden did get some things absolutely correct and in that regard she was honest.  However, she knows ALA's position is the exact opposite, knows she would look extremist if she stated ALA's true position, and she would never be confirmed as no one wants a Librarian of Congress who intentionally and secretively lowers the barriers between children and inappropriate material.

So Carla Hayden said, "right," when asked if "there are ... things ... in the library that aren't appropriate for everybody that visits the library to see."  Were she truthful, she would have expressed her adherence to the "Library Bill of Rights" and said librarians only provide material, they do not make age distinctions.

Here's what Dr. Hayden got right::
That was in 2003/2004, and at that time the filters that would have been required, um, for libraries to install were found to prohibit access to very important health information and the most notable at that time was breast cancer. And since that time, um, the technology has improved and the filters that are installed to receive federal funding in my, my library, The Pratt Library, and in its state role has installed filters, have improved....
That's right!  Internet filters have greatly improved in a dozen years.  They no longer block breast cancer research, for example.  Carla Hayden is right to say that.

But she is misleading in that she does not reveal ALA tells people the opposite, that filters do not work, and that libraries should not use them.

Here again is that Illinois library mentioned above telling the public that filters block breast cancer:
Bittman said filters would not only limit a patron’s rights, they could ban access to sites college students or people doing research might need to access. Being denied access to the word “breast” might prevent a person from looking up breast cancer, for example, she said.
And that statement was after ALA was forced to admit filters no longer block breast cancer research: "Ross Reynolds (9:05):  Back to you, uh, Barbara Jones, uh, Dean [Marney who won state and federal library filtering cases] says he's got filtering software there that just works perfectly.  Barbara Jones (9:12):  Um, I would like to say that, yeah, the breast cancer example probably is kinda old these days…."

Yet to this day ALA still says, "Filtering in Libraries Causes Patron Needs to Go Unmet."

Carla Hayden, while correctly saying Internet filters nowadays work well, completely ignores that ALA misleads people into thinking they do not.  A third of libraries across the nation follow ALA's erroneous advice and leave children exposed to harm, according to CIPA's author.

And ALA will not change its position on Internet filters even after Carla Hayden said the "technology has improved" and library filters no longer "prohibit access to very important health information [including] breast cancer."

What Carla Hayden said was just for public consumption; it will have no effect on ALA and Dr. Hayden knows that but chose to mislead Congress anyway.


CONCLUSION: SHE WOULD NOT BE CONFIRMED HAD SHE TOLD THE TRUTH

Carla Hayden made materially false statements to Congress to make her ALA look mainstream and herself look like a reasonable choice for Librarian of Congress as a result.  She should not be confirmed.  She would not be confirmed had she told the truth.

She made statements about Internet filtering and about concern for child safety that are truthful but that go directly counter to the misinformation ALA currently uses to mislead communities into facilitating child pornography nationwide.  Those statements should be used to counteract ALA's ability to mislead communities, to shine light on what libraries are supposed to be, not what they have become under ALA's worldview.

But Carla Hayden chose to mislead Congress as she did.  She should not be confirmed.  Another nominee should be found, one who is honest and who is not looking at the Librarian of Congress position as a means to further spread the extremist, pro-child porn policies of the American Library Association.


NOTE ADDED 28 MAY 2016:

Updated link to US v. ALA.


URL of this page: safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/05/carla-hayden.html

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