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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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...

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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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“60 Minutes” Segment Discusses How Our Personal Online Data is Tracked, Bought and Sold

The March 9, 2014 broadcast of “60 Minutes” provides a good basic introduction to the activities of data brokers – how online personal data is tracked, bought, and sold without users’ knowledge: Additional online-only content at the “60 Minutes” website  provides more details about data brokers’ surveillance of online activity and how individuals can protect their personal privacy...

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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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