Panel to explore whistleblower protection at Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/01/2012

Contact:

John Amundsen
Communications Specialist
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)
1-800-545-2433 ext. 2140
jamundsen@ala.org

CHICAGO — What is the line between protecting society and defending the truth? The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) will present “National Security vs. the Right to Know,” a panel discussion during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference that will address the potential conflict between security concerns and the requirements of transparency, democracy, free press and the protection of whistleblowers. The panel will take place 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Saturday June 23 in the Pacific B ballroom at the Hilton Anaheim, Calif. Attendance is free to all ALA Annual Conference attendees.

“National Security vs. the Right to Know” will include featured speaker William Binney, who served with the National Security Agency (NSA) for more than 30 years, including serving as director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. Since his retirement in 2001, he has become a whistleblower, warning that the NSA’s data-mining program has become so vast that it could "create an Orwellian state."

Binney will be joined by Emma Cape, organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, named for Pfc. Bradley Manning, who stands accused of passing classified information to Wikileaks, and Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org and former director of the ALA Office for Government Relations.

More information is available on the ALA Annual Conference website.

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted at http://libr.org/SRRT.

The ACRL Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) was formed in 1975 and is a section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, which is a division of the American Library Association. The purpose of LPSS is to serve as an educational forum and information exchange for librarians with an interest or subject expertise in law or political science.