American Library Association ‘inimically against’ bill to extend Section 215 of PATRIOT Act without ‘urgently needed change’

For Immediate Release
Wed, 04/22/2015

Contact:

Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office

202-870-7730

jwright@alawash.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S. 1035, a bill to reauthorize the "library provision," Section 215, of the USA PATRIOT Act without reform of any kind and to extend it until 2020. In response, American Library Association President Courtney Young released a statement commenting on the legislation:

"Nothing is more basic to democracy and librarianship than intellectual freedom. And, nothing is more hostile to that freedom than the knowledge that the government can compel a library—without a traditional judicial search warrant—to report on the reading and Internet records of library patrons, students, researchers and entrepreneurs. That is what Section 215 did in 2001 and what it still does today.

"The time is long past for Section 215 to be meaningfully reformed to restore the civil liberties massively and unjustifiably compromised by the USA PATRIOT Act. For libraries of every kind, for our hundreds of millions of users, ALA stands inimically against S. 1035 and the reauthorization of Section 215 without significant and urgently needed change."

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 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.