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Category: Intellectual Freedom

Social Media and Privacy Presentation

Social Media and Privacy Presentation

Yesterday, at the joint CLA/CSLA conference in Sacramento, I gave a very, very early presentation on privacy and social media. Way, way too early. Trust me. I’m making the slides available as a PDF for now – hope to put up an HTML version once I get home. And I may add and take away some info to make it a short but useful guide on how to evaluate and navigate social media with an eye towards intellectual freedom issues….

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Google: Not Being Evil

Google: Not Being Evil

News, news and more news. 1) The U.S. gummint is trying to re-animate COPA (or maybe it’s not news … I’ve had my head in a few books for quite a while now). 2) In its efforts for 1, the gummint subpeonaed an unspecified number of search engines to get data on how many porntastic queries are searched in a given week. 3) Most of the unspecified search engines gave it up [add tasteless yet apropos analogy to a sexually…

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USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization blocked in Senate

USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization blocked in Senate

From Reuters (via Yahoo!): A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George W. Bush on Friday and blocked legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on terrorism. On a Senate vote of 52-47, mostly Republican backers of the measure fell eight short of the needed 60 to end debate and move to passage of it. … Senate Democratic and Republican foes of the proposed renewal said the law…

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You know, combat boots may be sensible shoes for some …

You know, combat boots may be sensible shoes for some …

Has this been everywhere yet? I don’t care. I want it on a bumpersticker. And maybe a hoodie. One internal F.B.I. message, sent in October 2003, criticized the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, which reviews and approves terrorist warrants, as regularly blocking requests from the F.B.I. to use a section of the antiterrorism law that gave the bureau broader authority to demand records from institutions like banks, Internet providers and libraries. “While radical militant librarians…

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USA PATRIOT Act renewal discussion

USA PATRIOT Act renewal discussion

From ALAWON: URGENT ACTION ALERT: PATRIOT Conferees will discuss legislation TODAY ‚Äì call your Members of Congress! Yesterday the House and Senate named conferees (list is below) to hash out the differences between the House and Senate versions of PATRIOT reauthorization legislation. Now discussion of the reauthorization bills will begin in earnest‚Äîand constituent input remains very important. The Senate version of the reauthorization bill contains key reader privacy provisions‚Äîthe House version does not. The conference committee meets TODAY at 1:30…

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Gorman interview on USA PATRIOT Act

Gorman interview on USA PATRIOT Act

ALA President Michael Gorman was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the USA PATRIOT Act. He starts off with vim and vigour: “It’s very reminiscent of the ’50s and the ‘red scare’ where people showed up at libraries trying to find which political books professors had read, because they were going to be put on a communist list or something,” said Michael Gorman, a British-born librarian who heads the US library group. But unfortunately undercuts himself (in my semi-humble…

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USA PATRIOT Act study results

USA PATRIOT Act study results

The results are in for ALA-OITP’s study on the USA PATRIOT Act and libraries: U.S. law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a study that adds grist to the growing debate in the U.S. Congress over the government’s counterterrorism powers. In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out…

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Thank you, Bernie

Thank you, Bernie

For those of you who have supported the Freedom to Read Protection Act, you may want to thank Rep. Sanders and your congressional rep., if they voted for it yesterday. From ALA’s Washington Office: [P]lease take a moment today to thank [your Representative] for their efforts to protect the rights of library users and bookstore patrons. Please also take a moment today to thank Representative Sanders, who continues to be a true champion for library user rights. You can find…

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1st Amendment Project in need of funds

1st Amendment Project in need of funds

From Neil Gaimain’s blog: … Michael Chabon just wrote to let me know that the First Amendment Project is financially out on the edge… I’m on the board of the First Amendment Project. It’s a nonprofit advocacy organization that among other functions provides legal counsel to writers, artists, journalists and others facing prosecution on first amendment grounds–an organization “dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition.” Recently the Project represented the teenager, George T., who was prosecuted…

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Article on Berkeley PL and RFID

Article on Berkeley PL and RFID

The Berkeley Daily Planet newspaper has an article on Berkeley Public Library and its upcoming implementation of RFID tags to facilitate self-checkout. Given BPL’s budget woes (with planned layoffs) and Berkeley’s cred as a progressive bastion, the two main focuses of the article are: 1. whether the new system is meant to/will make some library staff extremely dispensible, and 2. short-term and long-term privacy concerns over RFID tags.