February Washington E-Bulletin

February 2, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2016, Issue 02

A LOOK AHEAD

  • Waiting for the FY 2017 Federal Budget
  • Copyright Modernization Discussions Continue

ACT NOW

  • Sign Up for AALL’s Online Advocacy Training and Virtual Lobby Day

AALL IN THE STATES

  • UELMA in Washington

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • Letter to the FCC in support of a rulemaking on the privacy of broadband consumers
  • Letter in support of House FOIA bill

January Washington E-Bulletin

January 6, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2016, Issue 01

A LOOK AHEAD

  • What’s to Come in 2016?

ACT NOW

  • Nominations for PAGI and Oakley Advocacy Awards due February 1

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • Comments to OMB on Circular A-130
  • Letter to OMB concerning their Open Government Plan
  • New website for CRS reports

Washington E-Bulletin

December 2, 2015

After a short hiatus, the Washington E-Bulletin has resumed publication. The December issue is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 10

A LOOK AHEAD

  • Congress Sprints toward Finish Line
  • White House Proposes Weak Update to Info Policy Circular

ACT NOW

  • Take Action Before December 11 in Support of GPO and LC

AALL IN THE STATES

  • A Victory for California County Law Libraries
  • UELMA 2016: Get Ready to Advocate in Your State!

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • New Regional Discard Policy
  • Implementation of the USA Freedom Act
  • House Judiciary Holds ECPA Hearing

September E-Bulletin

September 1, 2015

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

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 09

A LOOK AHEAD

ACT NOW

AALL IN THE STATES

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW


AALL Joins Coalition to Call for Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports

August 24, 2015

By Elizabeth Holland

Today, AALL joined a coalition of 40 organizations and 90+ individuals to call on Congress to expand public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. In a letter sent to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, House Committee on House Administration, and Joint Committee on the Library, which share jurisdiction over CRS, we urge the implementation of systematic public access to non-confidential CRS reports. Many individual law librarians also signed the letter.

American taxpayers spend more than $100 million annually to fund the CRS, yet current distribution of these reports is uneven and often expensive. CRS reports are only distributed directly to members of Congress, who can then decide whether or not to distribute them publicly. Those Capitol Hill insiders who know to ask their lawmakers for specific reports by name or who can afford to pay for them in a secondary market are able to access these useful reports, while many students, researchers, and other members of the public are not.

CRS reports play an important role in the legislative process by serving as an authoritative and unbiased source of information for legislators and staff.  Over the past 10 years, CRS reports have been cited in 190 federal court opinions, more than 100 articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and are often published in the record of legislative proceedings. The public deserves a consistent and official way to access the non-classified, non-biased information CRS provides. The Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Law Library of Congress, and 85 percent of G-20 countries with similar parliamentary research offices already make their reports available to the public. We urge Congress to see to it that CRS follow suit.


August Washington E-Bulletin

August 3, 2015

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

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 08

A LOOK AHEAD

ACT NOW

AALL IN THE STATES

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW


Stop CISA

July 28, 2015

By Elizabeth Holland

Today, AALL joins a number a number of privacy advocates, civil liberties groups, security experts, and technology companies for a Day of Action in opposition to the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754). Our message is simple: CISA is a bad bill. While this legislation promises security, in actuality, it does more to increase surveillance, undermine transparency, and leave your personal information vulnerable to attack than it does to protect against cyber threats. With the Senate slated to consider it in the coming weeks – even as early as next week– we urge members of Congress to oppose CISA and, should push come to shove, implore President Obama to veto it.

Chief among our privacy concerns with CISA is the permission the bill grants for overbroad information sharing. Under CISA, companies in the private sector are authorized to share information about their users’ Internet activity with the federal government, even when that data is unnecessary to identify or protect against a threat. Information shared with one federal agency could then be shared throughout the government, potentially putting your personal information or that of your library users in the hands of agencies like the National Security Agency, Department of Justice, and the Department of Defense and leaving the information vulnerable to hackers.

CISA would also add a new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the first time since 1967. Section 10 of the bill provides that any and all information shared with or provided to the federal government pursuant to CISA is exempt from disclosure under FOIA, including private information unrelated to a cybersecurity threat. Passing CISA would also give jurisdiction over FOIA to the most secretive committee in the Senate, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), which almost never holds public hearings and has never held one on this legislation. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over FOIA, has never held hearings or had an opportunity to consider the justification for the new FOIA exemption. As our friends at OpenTheGovernment.org posit, “allowing SSCI to write new exemptions to FOIA, without any public consideration or input from the Judiciary Committee, could set a dangerous precedent for further weakening the law at the intelligence community’s request.”

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important issue for U.S. industry, federal, and state governmental entities and AALL would strongly support a good-faith effort to improve information sharing for cybersecurity purposes. However, CISA is not that legislation. Write your Senators today to urge them to oppose CISA for the automatic and over-broad surveillance authorities and transparency-weakening provisions it would enable.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 313 other followers

%d bloggers like this: