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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

American Library Association (ALA) Condemns Proposed State Legislation Limiting Access to Information on Reproductive Health

“The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) issued the following statement in response to proposed state legislation that would censor library materials or put at risk library workers who provide access to information, including information on abortion or any aspect of reproductive health care. ALA stands committed to the free, fair, and unrestricted exchange of ideas, and the right of library patrons to seek information free from observation or unwanted surveillance by the government or other third parties, in accordance with the law and the U.S. Constitution. ALA opposes policies and legislation that ban content, restrict access to information, or compromise library users’ right to seek information without the subject matter of their inquiries becoming known to others. Recently enacted state legislation prohibits abortion and imposes both criminal and legal penalties for performing illegal abortions or aiding and abetting the performance of an illegal abortion. The passage of this legislation and proposals to adopt similar legislation in other states has prompted concerns that provisions within those bills may be used to pursue criminal or civil charges against library workers for providing library users access to reproductive health information, including information about abortion. Some of these bills incentivize individuals to pursue civil action against individuals with the promise of financial gain. It is the professional responsibility of library workers to curate resources and provide assistance to library users seeking information without imposing their personal beliefs or engaging in viewpoint discrimination. They do so in compliance with state and federal laws and the U.S. Constitution, including those provisions that safeguard information access and patron privacy. Library workers do not provide medical or legal advice..”

You Can’t Stop Pirate Libraries

Reason – “Where there’s demand for books, the internet will supply them. Shadow libraries exist in the space where intellectual property rights collide with the free-flowing exchange of knowledge and ideas. In some cases, these repositories of pirated books and journal articles serve as a blow against censorship, allowing those under repressive regimes to access… Continue Reading

First Open Testimony Before January 6 Committee

C-SPAN – January 6 Hearings – First Open Testimony Before January 6 Committee. Held June 9, 2022. After months of closed door investigations, the House January 6 Committee held its first hearing with public testimony about what transpired-and why-during the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Users may search the transcript by choosing text, people or… Continue Reading

Hospitals are required to post prices for common procedures. Few do

NBCNews: “Few hospitals are posting the prices of their common procedures online, despite a federal law that went into effect more than a year ago. The Hospital Price Transparency Law is intended to make the hidden costs of services such as X-rays, medical tests or colonoscopies clear to patients before they enter the hospital. But… Continue Reading

Capitol attack panel to hold six public hearings as it aims to show how Trump broke law

The Guardian UK – “Panel aims to publicly outline the potentially unlawful schemes that tried to keep the former president in office despite his defeat  The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol is expected to stage six public hearings in June on how Donald Trump and some allies broke the… Continue Reading

Whistleblower Reprisal Investigation: Colonel Yevgeny S. Vindman

Whistleblower Reprisal Investigation: Colonel Yevgeny S. Vindman, U.S. Army (DODIG-2022-097) “Administrative Investigations – We conducted this investigation in response to a complaint filed with the DoD Hotline on August 18, 2020, alleging that various administration officials, including former President Donald J. Trump, took actions against Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) YevgenyVindman (the Complainant), U.S. Army, while he… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court guards its privacy. Too bad it doesn’t care about yours and mine

Salon: “To use Justice Samuel Alito’s criteria in his recently-leaked draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade, where is it written in the Constitution that practically everything that happens at the Supreme Court is secret? The answer, my worthies, is that it is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Secrecy — or, if you will,… Continue Reading

ICE ‘now operates as a domestic surveillance agency’

Engadget: “Although it’s supposed to be restricted by surveillance rules at local, state and federal levels, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has built up a mass surveillance system that includes details on almost all US residents, according to a report from a major think tank. Researchers from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology said… Continue Reading

National Intelligence Report Shows FBI Warrantlessly Searched Americans’ Data Millions Of Times Last Year

Tech Dirt: “Eight years ago, prompted by the Snowden revelations (and Senator Ron Wyden’s persistent questions), then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper finally provided the public with some insight into the FBI’s warrantless searches of Americans’ data collected (supposedly inadvertently) by the NSA. The report delivered to Sen. Wyden was surprisingly redaction-free. But that didn’t mean… Continue Reading

In the dark – Censored Planet

Seven years, 60 countries, 935 internet shutdowns: How authoritarian regimes found an off switch for dissent: “…Russia is a pioneer in the use of these tools but not an outlier. The technologies it uses are proliferating, creeping into internet infrastructure all over the world, helped by multinational companies that have turned censorship into an off-the-shelf… Continue Reading

Trump’s Chief of Staff – texts track effort to overturn election 2022

“CNN has obtained 2,319 text messages that former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent and received between Election Day 2020 and President Joe Biden’s January 20, 2021 inauguration. The vast trove of texts, which Meadows selectively provided to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, offers the most revealing… Continue Reading

Libraries around the world are helping safeguard Ukrainian books and culture

Via LLRX – Libraries around the world are helping safeguard Ukrainian books and culture – Ksenya Kiebuzinski, Slavic Resources Coordinator, and Head, Petro Jacyk Resource Centre, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto tells us about the critical work of 1,000 volunteers, in partnership with universities in Canada and the United States, who are participating in… Continue Reading