Privacy & Surveillance

Papers AND passwords, please…

Hand holding a smart phone displaying the lockscreen

The Department of Homeland Security is increasingly demanding without cause that non-citizens attempting to lawfully enter the U.S. provide border officials with their electronic devices and the passwords to their private social media accounts. Today, ALA is pleased to join 50 other national public interest organizations – and nearly 90 academic security, technology and legal experts in the US and ... Read More »

Progress! Email Privacy Act clears House

Magnifying Glass highlight the words "we're watching you" hidden in binary code

Congratulations library advocates! For the second time in just over 9 months, the US House of Representatives last night passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387 in this Congress) by voice vote.  Propelled by more than 1,100 library supporters, the bill now moves to the Senate where the timing of its consideration – and ultimate fate – are not yet ... Read More »

The Email Privacy Act’s time is now!

Digital screen with lock icon displayed

As reported in District Dispatch less than a month ago, ALA President Julie Todaro called on both Chambers of Congress to immediately pass H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act. This critical and long overdue legislation had just been reintroduced after unanimously passing the House last year before stalling in the Senate. If approved in the current Congress, the bill finally ... Read More »

ALA urges Senators to probe Sessions on privacy

Sen. Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing

ALA, together with a baker’s dozen of allied organizations, has written to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the eve of its hearings on the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to serve as the nation’s next Attorney General. Detailing concerns about Sen. Sessions’ record on a host of issues – including expressly his opposition to the special ... Read More »

Fight for Email Privacy Act passage begins now . . . again

Man sitting on a couch using a laptop, observed by two surveillance cameras

It’s a pretty sure bet that, when James Madison penned the Fourth Amendment to assure the right of all Americans to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures,” he didn’t have protecting emails, texts, tweets and cloud-stored photo and other files in mind. Fortunately, Congress attempted to remedy that understandable omission 197 years ... Read More »