Seems Attorney General
AsshatAshcroft put out an order to the nation’s libraries last week to destroy five publications it had deemed were not “appropriate for external use” causing a bit of an uproar with the folks at the American Library Association:
Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department has deemed not “appropriate for external use.” The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library.
The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).
Hmmm. Now why do you think he’d want to restrict access to these publications? The ALA submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see if they couldn’t find out what the motivation for suddenly withdrawing and destroying documents that have been available for four years might be. This was enough to get the DOJ to back down claiming that they’d decided the documents in question were “not sufficiently sensitive to require removal from the depository library system.” How convenient.
Links via Boing Boing.