Friday, April 13, 2007

To preserve freedom of expression at home & protect writers abroad

Over 60% of this blog's readers are in the United States. This entry is dedicated to them but some of the issues are worldwide.

1. Demand an end to government surveillance of bookstore and library records

Write a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging him to convene hearings to investigate how the government has been using Section 215 of the Patriot Act, National Security Letters, and other surveillance powers in bookstores and libraries.

Senator Patrick Leahy
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
433 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

2. Support a Federal Shield Law to Protect Journalists

Write a letter to Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, encouraging him in his efforts to advance a Federal Shield Law to help journalists protect confidential sources. This bill will extend confidentiality protections already available in many states to the Federal level.

Representative John Conyers, Jr., Chairman
House Judiciary Committee
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

3. Help Restore the Most Basic Human Rights

Write letters to your U.S. Senator and Representative demanding that she or he repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and restore full habeas corpus and due process protections of all detainees in U.S. custody.

For contact information for your representatives, see: and

4. Press U.S. Internet Providers to Preserve Freedom of Expression on the Internet

Write to your U.S. Representative asking him or her to support the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007, a bill which prohibits U.S. Internet providers from cooperating with Authoritarian governments in censoring or monitoring the Internet.

5. Join PEN
To learn more about PEN's work, listen to Freedom to Write? Our Obligation to Protect Free Expression, a PEN panel.

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