Time for Action: Ending “bulk collection” of library records on the line in looming Senate vote

by Adam Eisgrau, ALA Washington Office May 14, 2015 Crossposted from District Dispatch Last night the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 338 to 88, for passage of the latest version of the USA FREEDOM Act, H.R. 2048. The bill — and the battle to achieve the first meaningful reform of the USA PATRIOT Act since it was enacted 14 years ago — now shifts to the Senate. There, the outcome may well turn on the willingness of individual...

Read More

Choose Privacy Week Brief: Tell Congress to Support Real Privacy and Surveillance Law Reform

Choose Privacy Week Brief: Tell Congress to Support Real Privacy and Surveillance Law Reform

The time is long past for Section 215 to be meaningfully reformed to restore the civil liberties massively and unjustifiably compromised by the USA PATRIOT Act. ~~ALA President Courtney Young  Very nearly from the day the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law in 2001, librarians raised concerns about the scope of surveillance authorized under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.  In particular, librarians protested the low or non-existent...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More