IFLA 'deplores' OFAC information regulations

This was just posted on the anarchist librarian list. Thoughts? Comments?

According to a Statement on the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) web site, 'librarians and publishers around the world deplore the regulations of the US government that seek to limit the ability of US persons to process and publish informational materials from selected countries'. The press release reports that 'such actions are contradictory to the recognition by democratic societies everywhere that the free flow of information and ideas is vital to citizens of all nations to educate themselves about the world by communicating with peoples of other countries'.

Regulations by the US Department of the Treasury´s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) attempt to extend trade embargoes against certain nations to include 'the importation and exportation of information and informational materials'. The enhancement would not allow 'significant or artistic enhancement of such materials by a US person without a license from the US government'. IFLA states that 'such enhancements promote free speech and free exchange of information', quoting Article 19
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

(Source: IFLA web site 16 July 2004)

(Source of report)