December 17, 2014

IFRT accepting nominations for the John Philip Immroth Memorial Award

John Phillip Immroth

The American Library Association (ALA) Intellectual Freedom Round Table(IFRT) is seeking nominations for its 2015 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award. The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship. The award consists of $500 and a citation. Individuals, a group of individuals or an organization are eligible for the award. The deadline for nominations has been extended to Feb. 17.

John Phillip Immroth was a teacher, author, scholar, advocate and defender of First Amendment rights.  He was the founder and first chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table in 1973.  His impact on the ideal of intellectual freedom and its practice was great.

The Immroth nomination form is available on the ALA website. Nominations and supporting evidence should be sent to:  Shumeca Pickett, ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Telephone: 312-280-4220 or 800-545-2433, ext. 4220. Fax: 312-280-4227. E-mail: spickett@ala.org

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.

December 16, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, December 7 — December 13, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from December 7 -December 13.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Cyber Threats/Bullying, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Society, institutions, and common sense: Themes in the discourse of book challengers in 21st century United States [Abstract]

Facebook doesn’t transform free speech into a lesser right

New York Times reporter James Risen may be offered deal to avoid jail

Hanover [VA] School Board rejects request to ban controversial film

Dick Cheney Says Senate Torture Report Is ‘Full of Crap’

 

Access, Corporate/Government Secrecy, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

The Next Big Thing You Missed: Silicon Valley Bets Millions That This Site Can Improve Our Democracy

Ghost of Antipiracy Bill SOPA Haunts New Copyright Push

U.S. senator [Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI]: Why couldn’t we have taken down the Pirate Bay?

Obama’s pick to head the Patent Office has Congress’s support. She just doesn’t have its approval.

Your Internet access could be tax-free for another year (at least)

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Obama renews NSA spying program after reform bill fails

Hackers leak top Sony executives’ emails

Millions of Student Records Sold in Bankruptcy Case

Hack said to cause fiery pipeline blast could rewrite history of cyberwar

Dem senators warn cellphone tracking could violate Constitution

 

December 6, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, November 30 — December 6, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from November 30 -December 6.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Cyber Threats/Bullying, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Social Media Help Fuel Protests After New York Officer Not Indicted Over Death of Eric Garner

Supreme Court split on free speech protections for Facebook threats

LA man first to be sentenced under California’s “revenge porn” law

In the ‘global struggle for Internet freedom,’ the Internet is losing, report finds

Twitter to make reporting abuse and blocking ‘easier’

 

Access, Government Secrecy, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

School libraries are essential for learning [PA]

Outdated Regulations Will Make Consumers Pay More for Broadband

Study: $17B tax hike from Obama Web rules

Publishers Weekly honors ALA leadership for library ebook advocacy

Urban Libraries Council Recommends Higher Level of Support for Libraries That Serve the Most Users from the FCC

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

Obama asks Congress to fund 50,000 police body cameras

Online education run amok? Private companies want to scoop up your child’s data.

Who Should Own the Internet? Julian Assange on Living in a Surveillance Society

Key Senate bill would ban federal wiretap access to mobile devices

New bill aims to block forced government backdoors in tech products

 

November 29, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, November 23 — November 29, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from November 23 – November 29.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Do Online Death Threats Count as Free Speech?

President Obama on Ferguson Decision: ‘The Media is Going to Have a Responsibility As Well’

A Tyranny of Silence: One Journalist’s Battle Against Modern-Day Restrictions on Free Speech

‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Should Apply Worldwide, E.U. Panel Says

Library Tosses My Book, “God Less America” [Cordova, AK]

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

What Internet Users Know about Technology and the Web

Wikipedia’s ‘complicated’ relationship with net neutrality

The Universal Internet: Obama’s plan for net neutrality makes perfect sense

Obama’s Net-Neutrality Plan Could Mean New Internet Fees

Ferguson library sees donations roll in

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

What a Privacy Activist Turned Top Whited House Adviser Thinks About Cybersecurity

Anonymous messaging app scores big funding

Uber ignites new privacy fight

NSA Chief Warns Of Pending Cyberattack… Which He Wants To Make Easier With Backdoors

Is the government spying on you? Find out

 

November 22, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, November 16 — November 22, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from November 16 – November 22.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Yes, you have a right to record the police

After Satanists Plan to Give Away Coloring Books, School Board Considers Banning Religious Distributions Altogether [Orange County, FL]

Could rapper go to prison for cutting rap album? [San Diego]

[VA] Woman posts “love” of ISIS on Facebook, charged with “promoting” terrorism

Manassas City [VA] detective in teen ‘sexting’ case sues teen’s lawyer for defamation

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

Obama and Scalia, United on Broadband as a Utility

F.C.C. Chief Aims to Bolster Internet for Schools

The FCC wants to give educators an extra $1.5 billion a year for Internet

Pay Phones in New York City Will Become Free Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on FCC’s E-rate proposal

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

USA Freedom Act stalls in the Senate

Mail Monitoring Rarely Denied, Postal Service Says

U.S., Israeli companies supply spy gear to repressive regimes, report says

Virginia Police Have Been Secretively Stockpiling Private Phone Records

Judge unseals info on secret cellphone spying

 

November 17, 2014

It’s now or (almost) never for real NSA reform; contacting Congress today critical!

Crossposted courtesy of the ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch blog:

It was mid-summer when Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, answered the House of Representative’s passage of an unacceptably weak version of the USA FREEDOM Act by introducing S. 2685, a strong, bipartisan bill of his own. Well, it’s taken until beyond Veterans Day, strong lobbying by civil liberties groups and tech companies, and a tough stand by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but Leahy’s bill and real National Security Agency (NSA) reform may finally get an up or down vote in the just-opened “lame duck” session of the U.S. Senate. That result is very much up in the air, however, as this article goes to press.

Now is the time for librarians and others on the front lines of fighting for privacy and civil liberties to heed ALA President Courtney Young’s September call to “Advocate. Today.” And we do mean today. Here’s the situation:

Thanks to Majority Leader Reid, Senators will cast a key procedural vote late on Tuesday afternoon that is, in effect, “do or die” for proponents of meaningful NSA reform in the current Congress. If Senators Reid and Leahy, and all of us, can’t muster 60 votes on Tuesday night just to bring S. 2685 to the floor, then the overwhelming odds are–in light of the last election’s results–that another bill as good at reforming the USA PATRIOT Act as Senator Leahy’s won’t have a prayer of passage for many, many years.

Even if reform proponents prevail on Tuesday, however, our best intelligence is that some Senators will offer amendments intended to neuter or at least seriously weaken the civil liberties protections provided by Senator Leahy’s bill. Other Senators will try to strengthen the bill but face a steep uphill battle to succeed.

Soooooo….. now is the time for all good librarians (and everyone else) to come to the aid of Sens. Leahy and Reid, and their country. Acting now is critical . . . and it’s easy. Just click here to go to ALA’s Legislative Action Center. Once there, follow the user-friendly prompts to quickly find and send an e-mail to both of your U.S. Senators (well, okay, their staffs but they’ll get the message loud and clear) and to your Representative in the House. Literally a line or two is all you, and the USA FREEDOM Act, need. Tell ‘em:

  • The NSA’s telephone records “dragnet,” and “gag orders” imposed by the FBI without a judge’s approval, under the USA PATRIOT Act must end;
  • Bring Sen. Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Act to the floor of the Senate now; and
  • Pass it without any amendments that make it’s civil liberties protections weaker (but expanding them would be just fine) before this Congress ends!

Just as in the last election, in which so many races were decided by razor thin margins, your e-mail “vote” could be the difference between finally reforming the USA PATRIOT Act. . . or not. With the key vote on Tuesday night, there’s no time to lose. As President Young wrote: “Advocate. Today.”

November 15, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, November 9 — November 15, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from November 9 – November 15.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Book ban vote in Kennett: Censorship dies an ugly death [Kennett Square, PA]

High School Students Face Charges After Suburban Sexting Scandal [Lake County, IL]

Twitter Testing Secret Filter To Stop Abuse: Is That A Good Thing Or An Attack On Free Speech?

Limbaugh threatens to sue DCCC for ‘out of context’ quotes about sexual consent

The FBI Is Offended That It Isn’t Allowed To Control How The Press Portrays Its Deceptive Activities

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

Net Neutrality: President Obama’s Plan for a Free and Open Internet

Is net neutrality really ‘Obamacare for the internet’?

Accessible Americas: Information and Communications for All

Conservatives Overwhelmingly Back Net Neutrality, Poll Finds

Bad government Web sites are bad for democracy

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

China suspected of breaching U.S. Postal Service computer networks

Firefox plots a fully anonymous Internet

Senate poised to vote on USA Freedom Act as early as next week

Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era

Facebook Rolls Out Clearer Privacy Policy, But You Still Can’t Control Your Data

November 12, 2014

Nominations open for Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity

Librarians face adversity every day, whether they are defending a book that has been challenged or fighting to provide services on a limited budget.

If you know a beleaguered librarian, now is your chance to give that person some much needed recognition by nominating them for the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.

ALA is currently accepting nominations through Monday Dec. 1, 2014 for this award. The prize consists of $3,000 along with a $1,000 travel stipend to ALA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, an odd, symbolic object from Snicket’s private stash and a certificate. The nominee must be a librarian.

The inaugural award was given in 2014 to Laurence Copel, youth services librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans. If you know a librarian who “has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact” nominate them for this unique award. According to Snicket, it is his hope that, “The Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.”

Mr. Snicket’s latest book is “Shouldn’t You Be in School?”, the third volume of “All The Wrong Questions,” which tells the story of Snicket’s own childhood exploits. Lemony Snicket’s official representative Daniel Handler’s next novel for adults is the highly anticipated “We Are Pirates,” which Bloomsbury will publish in February, and Neil Gaiman says is, “Honest and funny, dark and painful. ‘We Are Pirates’ reads like the result of a nightmarish mating experiment between Joseph Heller and Captain Jack Sparrow. It’s the strangest, most brilliant offering yet from the mind behind Lemony Snicket.” Later this month, Mr. Handler kicks off a national tour with appearances in more than two dozen cities (on behalf of Mr. Snicket), and will host the National Book Awards this November in New York.

To find out more information about the award, including how to nominate candidates, visit www.ala.org/awardsgrants/lemony-snicket.

November 10, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, November 2 — November 8, 2014

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from November 2 – November 8.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Misinformation, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Journalism, Independent and Not

The Conservative Alienation from Journalism

ACLU slams no-fly zone over Ferguson [MO]

District Superintendent Claims 14-Year-Old Student Bullied Her By Using Her Photo In A Criminal Justice Class Project

Activists challenge Los Angeles TV station for using ‘Redskins’ name

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

The Doomsday Librarian Preparing Our Reading for the Apocalypse

Can Open Source Help Solve Unemployment?

Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age [Audio]

IRS provides update to libraries on tax form program

The one Obama nominee that Republicans can get behind

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

An Unprecedented Look at Stuxnet, the World’s First Digital Weapon

Does your phone company track you?

Senate’s flip could ease path to NSA reform

Apple malware affects mostly Chinese users

Secret Cameras Rekindle Privacy Debate at Harvard

 

November 3, 2014

IFAction News Roundup, October 26 — November 1, 2014

 

The Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsors IFAction, an email list for those who would like updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more. Click here to subscribe to this list. For an archive of all list postings since 1996, visit the IF Action archive. Below is a sample of articles from October 26 – November 1.

Filtering, Censorship, Whistle blowing, Free Press, and Free Speech Articles  

Verizon news site banned from covering spying, ‘fast lanes’

#BBCtrending: Murdered for tweeting in Mexico?

Flight cancelled when “Al-Quida” Wi-Fi network became available [LAX]

Officials identify second suspected leaker

Beau Willimon [House of Cards]: TV Enjoying ‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Creative Freedom

 

Access, the Digital Divide, Net Neutrality, and Intellectual Property Protection Articles

How Facebook Is Changing the Way Its Users Consume Journalism

The Internet Association launches voter information site

The United States of Reddit: How social media is redrawing our borders.

Crooner in Rights Spat: Are copyright laws too strict?

Digital divide exacerbates US inequality

 

Privacy, Surveillance, Hacking, and Cybersecurity Articles    

White House computer network ‘hacked’

ACLU Calls Schools’ Policy to Search Devices and ‘Approve’ Kids’ Web Posts Unconstitutional

Snowden decries ‘culture of immunity’ for law-breakers

Vermont’s Automatic License Plate Readers: 7.9 Million Plates Captured, Five Crimes Solved

Verizon Wireless crosses the privacy line on Web browsing