Congress passes two-year budget, raises debt ceiling

Congress just voted on a two-year budget that must now go to be considered by House and Senate appropriators.

Early this morning, the U.S. Senate gave final approval to a two-year budget agreement that raises nondefense discretionary caps and defense programs caps by $80 billion over two years. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 also “suspends” the debt limit until March 15, 2017, provides additional funding through the Overseas Contingency Operations war-funding account, and outlines a series of financial ... Read More »

The 1201 giant rests, momentarily

Photo Credit: Lucarelli

This week, the U.S. Copyright Office issued exemptions to the 1201 rulemaking, something that I have whined about before, but this time around, there is a growing number of the disenchanted—from all walks of life, including farmers, video game enthusiasts, vidders, and software security engineers and researchers. The Internet of Things has made circumvention of technological protection measures (aka DRM) ... Read More »

Life-term for nation’s librarian running out?

The hourglass is running out as Congress considers a term-limit for the Librarian of Congress.

Hard on the heels of the recent surprise announcement that the current Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, would accelerate his retirement from year’s end (as announced in June) to September 30, the Senate last night approved legislation to limit the service of all future Librarians. Co-authored by all five members of the Senate’s Joint Committee on the Library, and ... Read More »

ECPA overhaul way “Oprah”-due


Remember when a new talk show called “Oprah” debuted, a fourth TV network called “Fox” started broadcasting, and every other headline was about the return of Halley’s Comet?  No?  Don’t feel badly; 1986 was so long ago that nobody else does either.  That’s also how long it’s been since Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA): the principal law ... Read More »

Urgent: Help rebury “zombie” cybersecurity bill

Zombie hand breaking through dirt

It’s back to the “barricades” for librarians and our many civil liberties coalition allies. Just over a year ago, District Dispatch sounded the alarm about the return of privacy-hostile “cybersecurity” or “information sharing” legislation. Again dubbed a “zombie” for its ability to rise from the legislative dead, the current version of the bill (S. 754) goes by the innocuous name ... Read More »