Friday, October 26, 2007


Just wanted you all to know that FLIF now has a account, where we will be bookmarking web sites and web resources of interested. We already have a few bookmarks up and will be adding more as we find them.

If you forget where to find us on, we've added a handy link list on the right-hand side of the screen to let you know where else you can find us online.

If you know of some interesting web sites, blogs, resources, or even other accounts that may be of interest to us, email us: FLIFblog @ gmail dot com

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ISP actively blocking subscribers from torrent network

An informal experiment by staff of the Associated Press indicates that at least one ISP is actively blocking user access to the popular BitTorrent protocols used for filesharing. This is a challenge to Internet neutrality and freedom to access.

Whatever your opinion on the legality and copyright issues of this technology, this means of data transmission and filesharing has been embraced by many companies and open source projects. Universally blocking subscribers from using this protocol clearly ignores the fact that torrents and other P2P programs do have legitimate uses.

So, unless the ISP in question is looking at the content of the files themselves (a violation of user privacy), then they are indiscriminately blocking access with no clear justification for such behaviour.

Read the ars technica article here.

UPDATE: posted 25 October 2007

The ISP in question has claimed that it is not acitvely blocking torrent traffic, but simply "delaying" such traffic to reduce lag time for more important data packets.

Here is a related Globe and Mail article.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Authors, Exiled

Did you know that there is a subject heading for exiled authors? There is. Next time you are looking for a good read, search for "Authors, Exiled". Subheadings include everythign from Language to Psychology to specific countries. The search works in both the EPL and the UofA online catalogues.

Little Sister Bookstore legal papers in SFU Library's Special Collection

BCLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee reports that the legal papers from the Little Sister's Bookstore have been acquired by the Special Collection at the SFU Library.

Little Sister's have been involved in court battles relating to censorship of gay and lesbian materials by the Canada Border Services. They alledged that Canada Border Services had been unfairly delaying (or worse) gay and lesbian books destined to the bookstore since they first censored the bookstores materials back in the mid 8o's. In January (2007) the Supreme Court ruled that they were not elligiable for advanced costs which they had intended to use to take the Canada Border Services to court. Without the money, they had to admit defeat and drop their plans to fight against discrimination. explains it further in this article.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

School Library Journal censorship links

School libraries are often at the crux of censorship scandals because of the delicate position in which they find themselves. Not only do they have to contend with curriculum demands and limited funding, they also have to be wary of The Parent. Many of the banned and challenged books today get on the list because of librarians and teachers attempting to strike a balance between intellectual freedom and parental concern about controversial books. Do you put The Higher Power of Lucky on your shelf or do you risk the wrath of the 5th grader's parents?
This link is the School Library Journal's round-up of censorship issues.

Monday, October 01, 2007

US Banned Books Week link round-up

As mentioned in the previous post, this week is Banned Books week in the US. I've gathered a few links of interest for you folks, starting with a bunch of links from Jassamyn West of One such link is to the write up about Banned Books Week from the Amnesty International USA site, where they highlight a few writers who have been persecuted for having an opinion.

If you want something a little more leasurely to peruse, Hatcher Graduate Library has a great set of pictures on Flikr highlighting some banned or challenged books, including the Harry Potter books, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, the controversial kids book And Tango makes three, and how could I not include a young fan being read Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. FYI, if you are in the neighborhood, each picture links you straight to the book in their catalogue for easy access.

Also on Flickr is the ALA's Banned Books Week group, which has lots of great pictures of banned or challenged books, displays, etc. And, of course, we can't forget ALA's Banned Books Week page, where they have tones of info and resources relating to celebrating our rights to read what we want.