ALA President urges Congress to reject controversial cybersecurity rider

For Immediate Release
Wed, 12/16/2015


Nancy Gravatt
Press Officer
Washington Office
ALA Washington

Threat to Americans’ privacy shoehorned into omnibus spending bill

Washington, D.C. – Late last night, House Speaker Paul Ryan released the text of an enormous omnibus spending bill, passage of which is required to avoid a government shutdown. Among the "riders" included in that bill entirely unrelated to government funding is highly controversial "cybersecurity" legislation opposed by the American Library Association (ALA) and virtually every other major national civil liberties and privacy protection organization from across the political spectrum.  

ALA President Sari Feldman issued the following comment:

“Librarians are again proud to stand with groups from every part of the political spectrum to expose and oppose the latest legislative attempt to advance a new mass surveillance law. Shoehorning a new version of ‘CISA’ hostile to personal privacy into a massive omnibus spending bill is troubling as a matter of substance and process. ALA calls on all Members of Congress to reject this latest assault on privacy and democracy.”

As negotiated in the back room and stealthily included in the omnibus, the bill would effectively create significant new mass surveillance capabilities for the NSA, FBI and many other agencies and levels of government while weakening government watchdogs charged with protecting Americans' personal information and privacy.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 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.



Slipping riders on to budget bills without debate is no way to achieve the cyber security that this nation needs. Reject Speaker Ryan's gambit.