Monday, April 7, 2008

ACLU Propaganda and Library Filters - Case Study in How Governments Are Misled

The ACLU propagandizes local governments on library Internet computer filters. The latest victims are San Jose, CA and Sacramento, CA. Below is my response to this blog entry from the ACLU of Sacramento County: Library Censorship - Same Old Issue, New Medium:

Looking to Understand Why ACLU v. Gonzales is Not Mentioned

Having read the entire blog that was linked, I'd like to ask a question.

Why was ACLU v. Gonzales not mentioned? Not in the blog, and not in the letter(s?) sent to local governments. Another ACLU case is mentioned, the one in Washington, but not ACLU v. Gonzales, so you are aware of other related ACLU cases and you include them in your letters.

ACLU v. Gonzales, E.D. Pa., March 2007 [ACLU expert and court agrees Internet filters are about 95% effective and no longer block out breast cancer and other health-related information—so effective that another law, COPA [Children's Online Protection Act], was found unconstitutional].

ACLU v. Gonzales is totally 180 degrees opposed to your claims here in this blog and in the letters you send to governments. An ACLU expert testified filters work really well and no longer block out material that used to be wrongly blocked. Yet here in this blog and in letters to local governments absolutely no mention is made of ACLU v. Gonzales or any of its underlying facts or its legal conclusions.

I find this to be a serious omission bordering on flat out propagandization. For example, you say, "Some local legislators are citing minuscule problems with library users accessing sexually explicit internet sites as an excuse to impose internet filtering and restrictive use policies that will keep essential health, LGBT information, and political information out of reach for many." Not according to your own ACLU expert in ACLU v. Gonzales, but you make no mention of that. Instead you say the opposite.

But I could be mistaken. Perhaps you have a good reason for completely failing to disclose what the ACLU expert argued and the Court found in ACLU v. Gonzales, something that seems to me to reveal an intentional misleading of local governments, particularly where you include other ACLU cases. Therefore, please answer why was ACLU v. Gonzales not mentioned?

"If the issue of library internet access comes to your neighborhood, please help maintain open access. Contact us for more information about how to fight library censorship." Information or misinformation?

And why do you even call it "censorship" when a case the ACLU itself lost in the US Supreme Court, US v. American Library Association, found Internet filters do not constitute censorship?

I wish you would raise legitimate factual or legal concerns instead of making arguments based on making believe ACLU v. Gonzales and US v. ALA do not exist. And I just disclosed the tip of the iceberg. How do you expect to be considered authoritative when you appear to be outright propagandizing?

Please answer substantively. Ad hominem argument is not acceptable and will only show you have no real answer.

Thank you.

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