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.
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 1, 2016
The June issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.
IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2016, Issue 06
A LOOK AHEAD
- Don’t Miss Out! Register Now for the 2016 Legislative Advocacy Training
AALL IN THE STATES
- Arizona Enacts UELMA
- MichALL Advocates for UELMA
- NOCALL Opposes Overbroad Copyright Bill
- SANDALL Supports Urgent Funding Increase for County Law Libraries
ROUNDUP AND REVIEW
- 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