American Library Association urges library advocates to oppose cybersecurity bill CISPA

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/24/2012

Contact:

Jazzy Wright
Press Officer
Washington Office (WASH)
800-545-2433 8208
jwright@alawash.org

Washington, D.C. — Molly Raphael, president of the American Library Association (ALA), urged several hundred library advocates today to petition their elected officials to oppose H.R. 3523, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

Raphael made the announcement during the opening ceremony of the organization’s 2012 National Library Legislative Day, an event where library supporters gather in Washington, D.C. to encourage lawmakers to pass federal legislation vital to the country's libraries.

“The ALA has long supported strong privacy protections as part of our community’s larger commitment to the First Amendment and civil liberties,” said Raphael. “We cannot stand by silently and let a federal law trump all of the federal and state laws that protect personal privacy. This is especially so when a bill like H.R. 3523 allows for an excessive amount of information that could be shared between the private sector and the government.

“We need balance between what our country must do for cybersecurity and the privacy values that we must protect,” said Raphael.

The ALA is concerned that all private electronic communications could be obtained by the government and used for many purposes–and not just for cybersecurity activities. H.R. 3523 would permit, and sometimes even require, Internet service providers and other entities to monitor all electronic communications and share personal information with the government without effective oversight by claiming the sharing is for “cybersecurity purposes.”

The consequences of CISPA for library users are also inherent to cloud computing, higher education networks, privatized libraries and networks and vendor contracts.

The ALA joins other privacy advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in opposing CISPA.

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About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 60,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

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