Tag Archives: privacy

ALA Asks Members to Oppose CISPA

The American Library Association’s Washington Office has asked members (and any librarians not yet members) to reach out to their U.S. Representatives to oppose the latest cybersecurity bill.

We did a great job knocking down SOPA & PIPA, and now it’s time to speak out against CISPA before it goes for a vote in the House of Representatives. From District Dispatch:

ALA is concerned that essentially all private electronic communications could be obtained by the government and used for many purposes – and not just for cybersecurity activities. H.R. 3523 would permit, even require ISPs and other entities to monitor all electronic communications and share personal information with the government without effective oversight just by claiming the sharing is for “cybersecurity purposes.”

For more information including links to find your Representative’s phone number and Twitter handle, plus talking points, check out ALA’s piece written yesterday.

(District Dispatch via The Digital Shift)

Libraries and COPPA

Social media researcher Danah Boyd has a question for librarians regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)Why are some libraries choosing to restrict children’s access to public information?

We understand that abiding by CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) is required to retain federal funding & discounts, but why COPPA? Boyd says:

I don’t know how popular online library access is with under-13s, but it depresses me to no end that libraries aren’t going out of their way to welcome children to their communities. I think it’s super important that children are free to be accessing library information, with or without their parent’s permission. What they can get through their public library is so much richer, so much better curated, so much better contextualized than generic online information. Why aren’t libraries actively inviting and encouraging children to join them? Why aren’t they targeting young people directly?

Seems like a broad overstatement, but is it true? I’m sure there are librarians out there who have a better grasp on this topic than us, so please go comment on her post. The discussion is lively and librarians need to join in!

Are Librarians Encouraging Public Libraries to Abide by COPPA? | Danah Boyd


Thought SOPA & PIPA were bad? Learn about ACTA.

Behind closed doors, a multinational committee whose members cannot be held accountable by voters (such as members of the Senate and House of Representatives) has been developing a vague agreement that could potentially infringe on your trade, copyright, and intellectual property rights.

ACTA’s reach is wider and more open to abuse than SOPA & PIPA, and it should be getting much more attention than the “internet killers” shelved earlier this month. Zach Whittaker of ZDNet explains what ACTA covers:

Initially it was thought that ACTA would enable governments to effectively work together in tandem across borders to prevent counterfeit goods, like medicines and knock-off technology goods for example, from entering the market. The Act aims to protect the economy and end-consumers’ confidence.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that though the ACTA name uses the word “counterfeiting” in its title, it vastly focuses on the transfer of copyrighted materials online. The agreement will make it easier for law enforcement and ISPs (’intermediaries’) to monitor consumers, and impose new criminal sanctions on those who flout copyright and patent laws.


Sound Orwellian enough for you? Read up at ZDNet, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wikipedia and ReadWriteWeb, among many others.