For immediate release | June 14, 2013

ALA joins others to demand civil liberties

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association recently joined 86 other civil liberties groups, Internet activists and authors to sign an open letter to Congress (.doc), calling for a congressional investigative committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s. The letter is in response to the recent leaking of highly classified documents about the government’s monitoring of private Internet and telephone communications.

The letter calls on Congress to:

  • Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law;
  • Create a special committee to investigate, report and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying.

“We hope these efforts will bring more sunshine to the surveillance processes,” said Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association. “The public deserves transparency on these complex issues, and we need to better balance the protection of our civil liberties with the government’s need to investigate and fight terrorism.”


About the American Library Association

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


Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

American Library Association

Washington Office