In a statement released today, American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling commented on President Barack Obama’s Friday remarks on the National Security Agency surveillance program (read the full statement).
“After months of calling for more government transparency and public accountability, it is promising that President Obama recognized the need to reform the National Security Agency’s intrusive surveillance practices,” said Stripling. “The American Library Association agrees that the systematic and unwarranted collection of surveillance data on millions of unsuspecting Americans must be curtailed, and we support plans to make National Security Letters more transparent. Additionally, we firmly support the creation of a constitutional advocate who will represent privacy concerns before the secret intelligence court.”
Stripling added that true surveillance reform would include congressional policy changes.
“However, we are cautiously monitoring the Obama Administration to ensure that President Obama’s suggested surveillance changes extend far beyond his speech today,” she added. “Moving forward, we will continue to advocate for legislative reforms that restore our basic expectations of privacy.”
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