Sigh. Today there was an opportunity for individual privacy and civil liberties to be disentangled from the government’s bulk data collection through the NSA. There was also an opportunity for surveillance reform and greater transparency for the whole process. Sigh.
A bipartisan bill titled, The USA Freedom Act of 2014 (full bill here), went to the Senate floor for a vote (Tuesday, November 18th). This bill did not renew the entirety of the Patriot Act, but did extend the ‘lone wolf‘ provision, the ‘roving wire tap‘ provision, and a reformed Section 215 — commonly referred to as the ‘library provision’ (remember FISA orders and national security letters, that was so 2005, right?!) The American Library Association, along with other advocacy groups and companies, have urged the Senate to pass this bill and yesterday, ALA asked us, as librarians, to act!
The bill only needed 60 Senators to vote YEA……..the result: 58 voted YEA. JUST 2 VOTES shy! (Read why.) Now, the Senate has the remainder of the current legislative session to pass the USA Freedom Act. We can still press our representatives!
Local, National, and World Affairs matter; they effect policies and policies effect our lives and our profession. Libraries assert that they facilitate informed and engaged citizenry. If this is our core, then librarians should be modeling this behavior in their community. Informed and Engaged Librarian; now, I’d wear that button!
How to stay informed via ALA:
ALA’s Washington Office Blog
Choose Privacy …. If anything, watch Glenn Green’s Ted Talk on Why Privacy Matters.
By: Tegan Davis | Eagle Valley Library District | PR Librarian
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