ALA says “NO!” to Section 215 reauthorization gambit

(Crossposted from ALA-WO’s District Dispatch) As both chambers of Congress prepare to take up and debate long-needed surveillance law reform, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) bill (introduced late yesterday) to simply reauthorize the “library provision” (Section 215) of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2020 without change of any kind was met today by a storm of opposition from leading privacy and civil liberties groups with...

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It’s now or (almost) never for real NSA reform; contacting Congress today critical!

Courtesy of the ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch blog: It was mid-summer when Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, answered the House of Representative’s passage of an unacceptably weak version of the USA FREEDOM Act by introducing S. 2685, a strong, bipartisan bill of his own. Well, it’s taken until beyond Veterans Day, strong lobbying by civil liberties groups and tech...

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Choose Privacy Week 2014: Just Another Hysterical Librarian for Freedom

by Nancy Kranich Rutgers School of Communication and Information Past President, American Library Association Are librarians hysterical about protecting user privacy, as Attorney General John Ashcroft contended in 2003? That was the question asked when LIS students at Rutgers University heard from two librarians on the front lines defending and promoting intellectual freedom since the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. The colloquium...

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Take Action: Demand ECPA Reform Today

Today, the American Library Association is joining a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that says the government can access your email and documents in the cloud without a warrant. ECPA is one of the Internet’s most outdated laws – it was enacted in 1986, before most people had access to a home computer or email. While the public has been rightfully outraged over reports...

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Take Action: New USA Freedom Act could reform the USA PATRIOT Act

Today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that would place restrictions on bulk phone and internet government surveillance, and permit companies to make public the number of FISA orders and National Security Letters received. This bicameral piece of legislation would rewrite section 215 of the Patriot Act—also called the “library provision”—and impose new limits...

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