Why the Library of Congress Is Blocking Wikileaks

I’m not totally comfortable with Library of Congress specifically blocking access to Wikileaks for staff and patrons at the Library of Congress as confirmed on Talking Points Memo. Here is the LoC blog’s response which refers to the same statement they are giving to reporters and the press. The situation is, of course, quite complicated but I find this to be an odd precedent that makes me a little itchy.

8 comments for “Why the Library of Congress Is Blocking Wikileaks

  1. caleb tr
    04Dec10 at 12:17

    i heard also that LC blocks access to the star wars christmas special

  2. 04Dec10 at 5:15

    Yeah, I kind of expected it from various commercial vehicles (Amazon, PayPal, etc.), but from the bastion of free-speech? Not so much. A blockage is a very deliberate thing, and I’m not comfortable either. There are some underlying things going on here, something about the scrutiny of governments and the implications of their secret actions. Hmm. Not sure what bugs me the most.

  3. Keith
    04Dec10 at 1:13

    Bastion of free speech? It’s not like the LOC makes classified documents available. It’s mission is “to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”

    If anything, it is the ALA that acts as the bastion of free speech for our profession. Although the LOC is a big and important library, it is just a library.

    Also, it is an official government institution… not just funded by federal dollars but run *by* the federal government. It’s not as though it has much leeway in the matter.

  4. Chris
    04Dec10 at 1:40

    Yeah that whole following orders thing is a awesome defense. It always works out so well for people who use it.

  5. Michele
    08Dec10 at 1:48

    It is disheartening that the LoC is behaving like government toadys. This is not about whether the LoC adheres to federal policy regarding classified information, but about what lengths our government will go to in order to shut down protected speech. What crime is our government charging Assange with? oh yeah, NONE!

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