raising awareness of threats to publicly available data; exploring the power dynamics of data creation, sharing, and retention; and teaching ways to make endangered data more accessible and secure
The government hacking into phones and seizing computers remotely? It’s not the plot of a dystopian blockbuster summer movie. It’s a proposal from an obscure committee that proposes changes to court procedures—and if we do nothing, it will go into effect in December.
Books checked out from a library and terms searched on library computers can reveal a teenager’s questions about sexual orientation, a neighbor’s religious leanings, or a student’s political interests. Libraries across the country, particularly public libraries, make it part of their mission to serve the most vulnerable and underserved user groups, including users who are homeless, unemployed, or recent migrants or refugees.
If a Pulitzer-nominated 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can.
The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. It is not a library. It is a constantly changing patchwork of perpetual nowness.
From The Atlanic website on October 15th, a pivotal piece about the Internet not quite as many of us know it – dynamic, tangential, interactive, user generated, information to be found and shared, classified by taxonomies and distributed across the globe, but also lost, trashed, disconnected, and forgotten.
It is not a repository.
Aside from the Internet Archive Way Back Machine, web archiving program, and person back ups, the Internet is not perpetually recorded, nor indexed. We rely on secondary services, corporate entities and cultural heritage organizations to respect, honor, retain, describe, index, and either keep behind pay walls or contribute to the collective accessible information we each have the right to access and educate ourselves with. An ideal situation would be knowledge for all, regardless of one’s class, access to technology, or affiliation…
It is not a library.
With a library we can provide access to information, by saving, storing, describing and indexing in useful, transparent ways. We educate about saving knowledge, and documenting our work to preserve it beyond the Internet.
Press Release from the American Library Association Washington Office:
Nobody likes cyber-attacks, but the bill the
US Senate is set to vote on TOMORROW –
the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act or CISA (S.754) – is awful when it comes to your privacy.
For all of the reasons just detailed on District Dispatch, including the possibility that companies could take “defensive measures” unilaterally to disrupt library (or any other) computer networks, ALA and its coalition partners (the ACLU, EFF and companies like Apple and Twitter) have been lobbying hard against passage of CISA. At the same time, we are trying to make it “less bad” by supporting important amendments to protect FOIA and personal privacy.
The Senate votes tomorrow! We and our partners, in dozens of meetings, have laid the substantive groundwork. Now it’s your turn to make that count – literally. We need thousands of librarians to use this one-click tool to tell both of their US Senators’ offices right now to:
- VOTE YES on the Leahy and Franken Amendments (No. 2587 and (No. 2612), respectively; and
- VOTE NO on CISA when the bill itself finally comes to a vote even if the amendments pass.
We now live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not.
Initiated in 2004 by President Obama, the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (a non-profit organization), this month long observation encourages education and best practices for all computer users in staying safe online.