Privacy & Surveillance

Library heroes reunite to defeat FBI surveillance

text - STAND UP, don't STAND BY

For library professionals, civil rights advocates and Americans everywhere, the members of the “Connecticut Four” epitomize the word “hero.” Twelve years ago, Peter Chase, Barbara Bailey, Jan Nocek and George Christian fearlessly faced down the FBI by refusing to comply with a National Security Letter (NSL) demanding that they divulge patron borrowing and internet search records in the absence of ... Read More »

Finding the “big picture” on big data at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference

Photo by Rowan Universit yPublication via Flickr

Every day, technology is making it possible to collect and analyze ever more data about students’ performance and behavior, including their use of library resources. The use of “big data” in the educational environment, however, raises thorny questions and deep concerns about individual privacy and data security. California responded to these concerns by passing the Student Online Private Information Protection ... Read More »

Judiciary Committee Senators face historic “E-Privacy” protection vote

Laptop chained up

More good news could be in the offing for reform of ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) recently (and pleasantly) surprised reform proponents by calendaring a Committee vote on the issue now likely to take place this coming Thursday morning, May 26th.  The Committee, it is hoped, will take up and pass H.R. ... Read More »

ECPA reform unanimously clears House; Senate fate uncertain

The United States Capitol Building

Way back in early December of last year District Dispatch reported that the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), legislation to plug an enormous hole in Americas’ constitutional privacy rights by rewriting the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), had finally got a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. “Strong further advocacy by librarians, in harness with our many coalition partners,” ... Read More »

Spending bill a win for library funding, loss on cybersecurity

A Judge's gavel on a white background.

Library Funding: Libraries Receive Welcome Funding Increases: Congress moved quickly, and surprisingly easily, to pass the $1.1 trillion “omnibus” spending package Friday, which the President is expected to sign promptly. As reported earlier this week, libraries received welcome funding increases for both Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL). The House passed the measure in ... Read More »