Sunday, May 03, 2015

Who's Reading the Reader?

"Who's reading the reader?" is the theme of this year's Choose Privacy Week (May 1-7, 2015).

"During Choose Privacy Week the American Library Association invites librarians and library users to engage in a conversation about protecting and defending reader privacy rights and how to acquire the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to address the widespread surveillance and data mining that collects information about users’ communications, reading and web surfing habits."

The American Library Association will be hosting a week-long online forum for Choose Privacy Week featuring various speakers on privacy and surveillance.  Librarians have long been advocates for their patrons' privacy.   

In 1972 Zoia Horn became the first U.S. librarian ever jailed for withholding information as a matter of conscience by refusing to testify against antiwar activists accused of a bizarre terrorist plot.  She was the chief reference librarian at Bucknell University at the time.   

Librarians have been and continue to be opponents of the broad surveillance power afforded by the Patriot Act

"Sonnie and Macrina both see privacy as not just an issue of intellectual freedom, but also of social justice. 'We serve members of communities who have been historically under greater surveillance than the rest of the population: immigrants, Muslim-Americans, people of color, political dissidents,' Macrina explained."

Recently privacy and security concerns were raised about Adobe Digital Editions platform for ebooks collecting and transmitting user data over insecure networks.  "Adobe’s total failure to protect user information during transmission may be a violation of privacy laws.

Interested in protecting your own privacy?  Check out the Surveillance Self-Defense toolkit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Tune in to the forums taking place during Choose Privacy Week, and check out some of the books, films, and other resources on privacy and surveillance available at Armacost Library.  

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