Watching What Students Read in the School Library

by Helen Adams, Member, and Michael Robinson, Chair IFC Privacy Subcommittee The Collier School District in Florida now allows parents and guardians to see the titles of books their children (and wards) check out from the district’s school libraries.    Colllier County’s “Parent Portal” is being offered as a means of heading off book challenges in the district, with the thought that parents themselves can police the books...

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ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom announces sponsorship of Let’s Encrypt initiative

Crossposted from the OIF Blog Today, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom announced its sponsorship of “Let’s Encrypt,” a free, automated, and open certificate authority. “Let’s Encrypt” is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and is run for the public’s benefit. It will allow anyone who owns a domain name – including libraries – to...

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FTRF and ALA join amicus brief asserting readers’ First Amendment right to be free of NSA’s online surveillance

Crossposted from the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Blog The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and American Library Association (ALA) on Thursday joined with booksellers, international, and research librarians to file an amicus brief defending their ability – and the ability of similar organizations – to challenge on behalf of their users government actions that burden readers’ First Amendment rights. The amicus brief was...

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New Privacy Guidelines Encourage Libraries and Vendors to Work Together to Protect Reader Privacy

By Michael Robinson Chair, IFC Privacy Subcommittee Head of Systems at the Consortium Library University of Alaska – Anchorage Libraries have a tradition of protecting the privacy of readers as the cornerstone of intellectual freedom. We recognize that freedom of thought and expression begins with freedom of inquiry, the ability to read and explore ideas without the chilling effect of government surveillance or societal disapproval. We clearly...

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Privacy @ ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco

Privacy is on the agenda at the 2015 ALA Annual Meeting in San Francisco June 26 – June 30, 2015. Some highlights: RUSA President’s Program speaker danah boyd will discuss her research on youth culture, the “big data” phenomenon, and the role of libraries and librarians in a data-soaked world on Saturday, June 27, at 4:00 p.m. in the Moscone Convention Center West,  Room 3014-16. Privacy law scholar Neil Richards and...

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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...

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