Freedom of Information
They’ve Got to See it to Believe It: Getting Decision Makers Into Your Library [webinar video]
In-person visits are critical for effective influence on politicians, particularly in an election year. With the last three months of the election season (phew!) around the corner, now is the time to press council members, legislators, administrators, school board members — in fact, anyone you can think of — to visit. And if you’re concerned about whether election rules restrict your ability to be involved in advocacy at this time of year, don’t be! This video covers the rules of engagement and points you to the resources at nonprofitvote.org and clpi.org to keep your visits aboveboard. Watch to learn the secret strategies for getting decision makers in the door — and eventually agreeing with you!
Senate Votes Down DISCLOSE Act from All Articles
The Senate held two votes on the DISCLOSE Act on July 16 and 17 but failed to pass the legislation each time. The bill would have created new campaign finance disclosure requirements and made public the names of super PAC contributors. In an effort to control the rising tide of “secret money” – political campaign spending by unknown donors – the bill attempted to make the federal election process more transparent.
The Future or Big Data
“Experts say new forms of information analysis will help people be more nimble and adaptive, but worry over humans’ capacity to understand and use these new tools well Tech experts believe the vast quantities of data that humans and machines will be creating by the year 2020 could enhance productivity, improve organizational transparency, and expand the frontier of the “knowable future.”
Rep. Hank Johnson’s App Rights Seeks Feedback on Mobile
It’s always heartening to see Congressmen make efforts to stand up for privacy rights. Yesterday, Rep. Hank Johnson launched AppRights.us, a website dedicated to promoting privacy, security, and transparency around mobile apps. Operating under the motto that “our apps should serve us—not spy on us,” Johnson’s website asks for feedback about issues surrounding mobile devices.
As Secrecy System Veers Into Absurdity, Politicians Argue For More
The US classification system is “dysfunctional” and “clearly lacks the ability to differentiate between trivial information and that which can truly damage our nation’s well-being.” Those are not the words of EFF, nor any other government transparency advocate, but instead came from the former classification czar himself.
Franken Amendment Would Remove Worst Part of Cyber security Bill
As we noted last week, a new cybersecurity bill (S 3414) (PDF) was introduced with privacy protective measures championed by Senators Franken, Durbin, Wyden, Coons, Sanders, Akaka, and Blumenthal. The bill is a step in the right direction of protecting online rights, but still has major flaws that allow for nearly unlimited monitoring of user data or countermeasures (like blocking or dropping packets). To address these concerns, Senator Franken is spearheading an amendment that would strike all of Section 701 (text below), the section of the bill which provides companies with the explicit right to monitor private user communications and engage in countermeasures. EFF is proud to support this amendment, though we continue to oppose the bill as a whole.
Penn State’s Rodney Erickson says Joe Paterno Library won’t change
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Peter Russell hit the books Sunday evening at the other Penn State landmark bearing Joe Paterno’s name. Hours earlier, the statue of the late football coach outside Beaver Stadium came down, ending weeks of speculation about its future
Temporary Copies: A TPP Provision Absurdly Disconnected from the Reality of the Modern Computer
EFF has been among several groups following the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the huge ramifications it would have for the future of the open Internet, access to knowledge, and innovation. Based on what we know from its leaked intellectual property chapter (IP chapter), it carries many of the restrictive copyright provisions that already exist in U.S. law. From what we have seen, however, this agreement is even more extreme: it does not export the many balances and exceptions that favor the public interest and act as safety valves in limiting rightsholders’ protection.
UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Internet and Human Rights a Step in the Right Direction
Earlier this month, the 47 member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a landmark Resolution (A/HRC/20/L.13) to include the “promotion, protection, and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet.” The Resolution, which was presented by Sweden, was backed by more than 70 countries in all, both members and non-members of the HRC.
A new chapter for Beijing’s libraries
Self-service libraries are becoming increasingly popular with Beijing residents, with 50 having sprung up across the city over the past year and 100 more are expected to open in the coming months.
The 24-hour service allows readers to choose from 20,000 books housed in giant automatic machines scattered across the capital.
Free access to British scientific research within two years
The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.
Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.
The French Still Flock to Bookstores
PARIS — The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent.
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The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Government Relations Committee, San Francisco Bay Region Chapter, Special Libraries Association.