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Copy of Montana Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee

Page history last edited by jkammerer@mt.gov 6 years, 1 month ago

 

 

   This committee's purpose is to create awareness among librarians of their responsibility to promote freedom of access to information in all types of libraries and to assist any library, library worker, library trustee, or friend of the library besieged by individuals or groups attempting to interfere with the right-to-read.

 

    The committee shall reassure librarians, trustees, and friends of the library that they will receive support from the committee should the principles of the right-to-read be violated.

 

   It should submit proposals of the committee pertinent to meeting these responsibilities to the Board of Directors and report censorship incidents to the President and the Intellectual Freedom Office of the American Library Association.

 

    In coordination with the Awards and Honors Committee and in compliance with the Guidlines of Awards and Honors (Appendix 2) of the MLA handbook, this committee may solicit nominations and select recipients for an Intellectual Freedom Award to be presented at the annual conference.

 

MLA Members: 

Please review this draft resolution on privacy and surveillance sponsored by the MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.

You will be asked to vote on this resolution at the MLA membership meeting on Friday, April 11.

 

RESOLUTION ON THE NEED FOR REFORMS FOR THE INTELLIGENCE

COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT PRIVACY, OPEN GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT

TRANSPARENCY, AND ACCOUNTABILITY (DRAFT)

  
Whereas, public access to information by and about the government is essential for the healthy functioning of a democratic society and a necessary predicate for an informed and engaged citizenry empowered to hold the government accountable for its actions; and
 
Whereas, the Montana Library Association (MLA) supports policies of the American Library Association (ALA) pertaining to the right to privacy, including but not limited to the ALA Code of Ethics (1939), Principles for the Networked World (2002), and Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (2002); and  
 
Whereas, the rights of anonymity and privacy while people retrieve and communicate information must be protected as an essential element of intellectual freedom; and

Whereas, the Montana State Constitution section 10 and 11 afford the citizens of Montana the right to privacy and the right from unreasonable searches and seizures; and
 
Whereas, MLA values access to documents disclosing the extent of public surveillance and government secrecy as access to these documents now enables the critical public discourse and debate needed to address the balance between our civil liberties and national security; and
 
Whereas, these disclosures enable libraries to support such discourse and debate by providing information and resources and for deliberative dialogue and community engagement; and

Whereas, The Montana Library Association remains concerned about due process for the people who have led us to these revelations; and
 
Whereas, libraries are essential to the free flow of ideas and to ensuring the public’s right to know; and
 
Whereas, for over a decade librarians and library workers in Montana and across the nation have criticized the USA PATRIOT Act on the grounds that it increases the likelihood that the activities of library users, including their use of computers to browse the Web or access e-mail, may be under government surveillance without their knowledge or consent; and
 
Whereas, the public recently learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone call metadata of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon Business Services, AT&T, and Sprint pursuant to an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act; and
 
Whereas, pursuant to a court order issued by the FISC under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) the NSA is operating a program called PRISM that is collecting and retaining vast quantities of data on internet usage, including internet search histories, email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP chats, file transfers, and social networking details, from internet service providers in the United States.  Though intended to target communications of foreign persons, the NSA admits that it collects and stores Internet data from U.S. persons; now, therefore be it

 
Resolved, that the Montana Library Association:


•     Affirms its unwavering support for the fundamental principles that are the foundation of our free and democratic society, including a system of public accountability, government transparency, and oversight that supports people’s right to know about and participate in our government;


•    Calls upon the U.S. Congress, President Obama, and the Courts to reform our nation’s climate of secrecy, overclassification, and secret law regarding national security and surveillance, to align with these democratic principles;


•    Urges the U.S. Congress and President Obama to provide authentic protections that prevent government intimidation and criminal prosecution of government employees, private contractors and journalists who make disclosures of wrong doing in the intelligence community;


•    Calls upon our members to lead and the public to engage in public dialogues discussing the right to privacy, open government and balancing civil liberties and national security;


•    Encourages the public to support bills and other proposals that both secure and protect our rights to privacy, free expression, free association, a free and independent press, and promote a more open, transparent government;


•    Expresses its thanks and appreciation to the members of Congress who work to protect our privacy and civil liberties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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