Retiring the Washington Blawg

October 19, 2016

As of October 2016, this blog is no longer being updated. For the latest policy and advocacy news from AALL, please visit us on AALLNET.

July Washington E-Bulletin

July 1, 2016

The July issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

Vol. 2016, Issue 07


  • Approaching Recess
  • Advocacy Programs at Annual Meeting


  • Tell Us: Reactions to Office of Law Revision Counsel Proposal to Eliminate Print Annual Supplements to U.S. Code


  • AALL celebrates net neutrality victory
  • GPO changes regional discard policy implementation plans

AALL Celebrates Net Neutrality Decision

June 15, 2016

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband under Title II as a common carrier service to protect net neutrality. The decision upheld reclassification and rejected the First Amendment challenge by several Internet service providers (ISPs) and their trade associations.

AALL strongly supports the Open Internet Order, which regulates broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Order lays out several key prohibitions on ISPs that protect law libraries, including banning ISPs from blocking or slowing down (“throttling”) web traffic or speeding it up in exchange for money (“paid prioritization”), and applies to both fixed and wireless carriers.

AALL celebrates the decision, which helps to ensure that law libraries can continue to provide equal access to the Internet and nondiscriminatory access to online legal content.

Congress Passes FOIA Reform in Time for FOIA’s 50th Anniversary

June 14, 2016

Yesterday, the House passed the FOIA Improvement Act (S.337), sending the comprehensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform bill to the President’s desk. The bill will update FOIA by codifying the “presumption of openness” established in President Barack Obama’s Open Government Memorandum, subsequent Open Government Directive, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s FOIA memorandum; requiring that information be made available to the public in an electronic format; limiting, to a period of 25 years, the ability of agencies to keep internal deliberations confidential; creating a centralized online portal for FOIA requests; and increasing the effectiveness of the FOIA by strengthening the Office of Government Information Services. AALL and open government groups have advocated for these changes for nearly a decade. Passage of the bill comes just weeks before FOIA’s 50th anniversary on July 4.

AALL’s Government Relations Policy clearly expresses our view that a strong FOIA is necessary for a healthy democracy. We commend the many advocates and members of Congress who have worked tirelessly for reform, including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.). We urge President Obama to sign S. 337 without delay.


June Washington E-Bulletin

June 1, 2016

The June issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

Vol. 2016, Issue 06


  • Privacy
  • Appropriations


  • Don’t Miss Out! Register Now for the 2016 Legislative Advocacy Training


  • Arizona Enacts UELMA
  • MichALL Advocates for UELMA
  • NOCALL Opposes Overbroad Copyright Bill
  • SANDALL Supports Urgent Funding Increase for County Law Libraries


  • AALL submits comments to the Federal Communications Commission in support greater privacy protections for public law library internet users
  • Copyright Office holds Section 1201 roundtables
  • Open gov groups prepare for 50th anniversary of FOIA

May Washington E-Bulletin

May 3, 2016

The May issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

Vol. 2016, Issue 05


  • Hayden Breezes through Nomination Hearing, Awaits Committee Vote 


  • Be Your Best Advocate: Register Now for AALL’s Advocacy Training in Chicago


  • The House approved the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699)
  • Learn about recent and coming changes to the Federal Depository Library Program
  • AALL thanks Mary Alice Baish for her many years of service
  • AALL reiterates strong support for the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act

House Judiciary Committee Acts on ECPA

April 13, 2016

Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved a version of the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) to bring the Electronic Communications Privacy Act into the 21st century.

The Email Privacy Act would require a warrant for law enforcement to obtain the content of emails, online documents, and other private electronic communications. The Manager’s Substitute Amendment, introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), creates no special carve-outs for federal civil agencies, as had been the subject of some debate.

Support for ECPA reform was one of AALL’s top priorities during our recent Virtual Lobby Day. We commend the Judiciary Committee for unanimously approving the Email Privacy Act and urge the House to act quickly to pass the bill.

%d bloggers like this: