Today, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom announced its sponsorship of “Let’s Encrypt,” a free, automated, and open certificate authority. “Let’s Encrypt” is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and is run for the public’s benefit. It will allow anyone who owns a domain name – including libraries – to obtain a server certificate at zero cost, making it possible to encrypt data communications between servers and provide greater security for those using the internet for email, browsing, or other online tasks.
“As a technology librarian, I am so proud that the American Library Association is sponsoring the Let’s Encrypt campaign with other privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla,” said Michael Robinson, chair of the ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee, and Head of Systems at the Consortium Library, University of Alaska – Anchorage. “Encrypting websites and services is an important step in protecting privacy in the digital age. The Let’s Encrypt campaign will make it easy for anyone to move their website to https. And it’s free! Even the smallest libraries will be able to take this step to protect the privacy of their patrons. ”
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, a Committee of Council, recommends policies, practices, and procedures as may be necessary to safeguard the rights of library users, libraries, and librarians, in accordance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Library Bill of Rights, as adopted by the ALA Council. The IFC Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation, and social trends and proposes actions to the IFC to meet the privacy needs of librarians and library users.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. OIF supports the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. For more information, visit www.ala.org/oif.