Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Florida Library Association on Changes to Privacy Act

The Florida Library Association Opposes the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed changes to DHS/USCIS-001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records
In response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
docket number DHS-2017-0038, Modified Privacy Act System of Records, The Florida Library Association strongly opposes changes to DHS/USCIS-001 that includes vague and deceptive language that would result in the deprivation of civil rights based on the following:

1.      This rule would change the Privacy Act of 1974, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to track the social media and online searches of immigrants, permanent residents, naturalized citizens and regular born-citizens who associate in any way with the first three groups.

2.      If accepted, this rule would result in a vast majority of US citizens online actions being surveilled by the U.S. government, without cause except that one is an ‘associate’ of some kind, of an individual going through the immigration process.

3.      Personal information will be permanently stored, and it will be linked / shared with other data sources and agencies maintained by the federal government. This will result in evidence that is impermissible in courts as it would violate due process under both the 4th and 5th amendments, resulting in arbitrary denial of life, liberty or property, and putting states in an unlawful position to enforce this position.

4.      This government direction stands in opposition to an American Library Association Resolution from 2006-2007, linking an immigrant’s rights and the Library Bill of Rights: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advocacy/diversity/libraries-respond-immigrants-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.

5.      The 2006-2007 Resolution in Support of Immigrant Rights recognizes the need to oppose any legislation that infringes on the rights of…anyone (including an individual's nationality, residency, or status)…to use library resources, programs and services on national, state and local levels. This change would result in surveillance of American citizens simply because of an assumed, online relationship.

Just as the government and other entities taking of library records of use is prohibited by law, the comparable taking of Social Media records would have the same chilling effect on Constitutional Rights to privacy that assure adherence to the First Amendment.

Libraries have long been a locus of citizen, resident and immigrant free access to and use of the Internet – alongside material and virtual collections -- and DHS/USCIS-001 would undermine longstanding professional and Constitutional norms that assure equal access and service to all.

 We side with the ACLU, and the words of Falz Shakir, national political director, American Civil Liberties Union:

 "This Privacy Act notice makes clear that the government intends to retain the social media information of people who have immigrated to this country, singling out a huge group of people to maintain files on what they say. This would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the free speech that's expressed every day on social media. This collect-it-all approach is ineffective to protect national security….” (1)

And Adam Schwartz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who notes:

  "The context of DHS's notice is troubling. DHS increasingly is subjecting immigrants to many kinds of high tech surveillance, including facial recognition and cell site simulators. Moreover, government increasingly is using social media monitoring against political dissidents such as Black Lives Matter." (2) 

The Florida Library Association stands with both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in opposing this development, which, as the Knight Institute has stated in its lawsuit filed again the DHS, that we need greater understanding of the government’s “authority to base immigration decisions on individuals’ speech, beliefs, or associations.” (3)

1. ACLU Comment on Homeland Security Notice on Immigrant's Social Media
Information (2017). Web. 26 September 2017:
https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-homeland-security-notice-immigrants-social-media-information, accessed 30 September 2017.

2. Schwartz, Adam (2017). Stop DHS Social Media Monitoring of
Immigrants. Electronic Frontier Foundation. Web. 28 September 2017:
accessed 30 September 2017.

3. Sumagaysay, Levi (2017). Trump administration sued for info on plan to collect immigrants’ social media data, ‘extreme vetting’. siliconbeat. Web. 4 October 2017: http://www.siliconbeat.com/2017/10/04/trump-administration-sued-for-info-on-plan-to-collect-immigrants-social-media-data-extreme-vetting/, accessed 14 October 2017.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Art for Justice Fund- A4JF

Over the next five years (2017-2022), the Art for Justice Fund (A4JF) will support innovative advocacy and interventions aimed at safely cutting the prison population in states with the highest rates of incarceration, and strengthening the education and employment options for people leaving prison. In addition, the Fund will support selected artistic initiatives that enable artists to bear witness to the injustices of the system and speak to the potential of people enmeshed in it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dayton Literary Peace Prize-2017

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation announces finalists for the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, inaugurated in 2006, is the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize invites nominations in adult fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Idaho Refugees Will Share 'Neighbor Narratives' at Boise Public Library Branches

The new Boise Public Library branch in Bown Crossing isn't even one-month old, and it's already taking part in BPL community engagement sessions, beginning with an exploration of our ever-growing refugee population. 

Refugees from different parts of the world and different walks of life will tell their stories at the Bown Crossing branch on Tuesday, June 27, as part of "Neighbor Narratives," a new element of the BPL SummerFest program. 

"We've had some really wonderful experiences in the community with other story-telling events," said Olivia Johnson, an AmeriCorps Vista specialist at the Idaho Office for Refugees. "They've been well attended, and we've received a lot of good feedback."

At the June 27 event, attendees can sample food from Bosnia, Ethiopia and Iraq, and Johnson said IOR is working on organizing tours of ethnic-themed restaurants in the community. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

'The Book Thieves' reveals the story of the Nazi assault on books

'The Book Thieves' reveals the story of the Nazi assault on books.

Hitler’s assault on the written word, the theft and destruction of countless books and religious tracts – estimated well in excess of 100 million – was arguably far worse and has gone largely unreported.
Entire libraries, more than 700 throughout Europe, as well as cherished personal collections disappeared into the maw of the advancing German war machine. The goal of this unprecedented campaign was not cash or cachet, as was the case with looted art, but control of the minds and memories of defeated nations and various people, principally Jews, but also Freemasons, Catholics, and political opponents.
If it had survived, the Third Reich would have been a formidable arbiter of what was considered true, and false for the foreseeable future. The goal was to rewrite history – to concoct fake history, really – albeit one that its creators actually believed was true. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Human Rights Web Archive @ Columbia University

The Human Rights Web Archive @ Columbia University 

is a searchable collection of archived copies of human rights websites created by non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, tribunals and individuals. Collecting began in 2008 and has been ongoing for active websites. New websites are added to the collection regularly.