Intellectual Freedom

ALA says “NO!” to Section 215 reauthorization gambit

Senator McConnell.

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 ... Read More »

OITP releases report exploring policy implications of 3D printing

3D Printer

3D printers can do incredible things – from creating food, to rendering human organs, to building spare parts for the International Space Station. A small but growing number of libraries make 3D printers available as a library service. Library 3D printers may not be able to make you a pizza (yes, that’s possible) or operate in zero gravity, but they ... Read More »

ALA seeks nominations for 2015 James Madison awards

Madison Award Awardee Patrice McDermott

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award, named in honor of President James Madison, was established in 1986 to celebrate an individual or group who has brought ... Read More »

When the watchdog whimpers: new report proposes no legal fixes for NSA’s warrantless “702” surveillance program


Created as an independent federal agency by Congress in 2007 to safeguard the public’s privacy and civil liberties in the wake of 9/11, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has just adopted and published its second major report on the most invasive government surveillance programs. The first, released in January of 2014, virtually growled its disapproval of the ... Read More »

Filtered-down access: an uncensored look at technology and the LGBT community

When you hear internet filters, your mind probably does not immediately jump to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. However, LGBT members are among those most affected by content filtering in public schools and libraries, which often censors and restricts far more content than is legally required. Today, the LGBT Technology Partnership and Institute presented a new report ... Read More »