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Letter to FCC in Support of an Open Internet

On February 13, 2014, in a letter to the Chairman and the Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Library Association (ALA), and EDUCAUSE signaled their disappointment with the recent DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision to vacate the “no blocking” and “no discrimination” rules for public Internet access set forth by the FCC in 2010.

pdf ltr-fcc-net-neutrality-13feb2014.pdf

 
 

ARL, ALA, EDUCAUSE Urge FCC to Develop Net Neutrality Policies; FCC Issues Statement, Calls for Comment

electronic-superhighway-by-nam-june-paik“Electronic Superhighway” by Nam June Paik, image © The QOn February 13, 2014, in a letter (PDF) to the Chairman and the Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Library Association (ALA), and EDUCAUSE signaled their disappointment with the recent DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Verizon v. FCC to vacate the “no blocking” and “no discrimination” rules for public Internet access set forth by the FCC in 2010. At the same time, the associations noted that the court’s recognition of the FCC’s legal authority under Section 706 to protect consumers and the public’s access to Internet services was a positive outcome. The associations stated:

 
 

The Day We Fight Back: NSA Reform Bills to End Mass Surveillance and Provide Greater Transparency

Benjamin Franklin with quote from paragraph 2Benjamin FranklinToday, February 11, 2014, individuals and groups are participating in “The Day We Fight Back,” a day of action protesting the US government’s mass surveillance programs. Revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) programs, including the breadth and scope of bulk collection of data conducted under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act (also known as the “library records provision”) have raised serious concerns regarding curtailment of civil liberties and the compatibility of these programs with the First and Fourth Amendments.

 
 

FCC Grants One-Year Waiver of E-Reader Accessibility Requirement

image © Terry MadeleyOn January 28, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a one-year waiver exempting e-readers from the requirement that equipment used for advanced communication services (ACS) be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities. The FCC granted the waiver in response to a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers, but limited the waiver to only one year despite the coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver. In the order granting the waiver (PDF), the FCC stated:

 
 

ARL Disappointed with Court Ruling on Network Neutrality

electronic-superhighway-by-nam-june-paik“Electronic Superhighway” by Nam June Paik, image © The QOn January 14, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet Order’s anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules, a regulation governing network neutrality. The court’s ruling striking down the Open Internet Order could result in Internet service providers providing prioritized delivery for those willing to pay to promote their content, advancing commercial interests over research library and higher education interests. Although the DC Circuit rejected the Open Internet Order, the court upheld the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband services, thus leaving open the possibility of the FCC reclassifying broadband providers or redrafting its network neutrality rules in accordance with the opinion.

 
 

ARL and ALA File Comments to FCC on E-Reader Accessibility

image © Terry MadeleyEarlier this month, ARL and the American Library Association (ALA) filed additional reply comments (PDF) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a request to waive e-reader access requirements for individuals with disabilities. In the comments, the Associations noted, “We are writing to reiterate our opposition to the waiver sought by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers (‘the Manufacturers’) and present new information regarding the manner in which the e-readers covered by the Manufacturers’ petition (‘basic e-readers’) are utilized.”

 
 

Additional Reply Comments to FCC E-Reader Accessibility Waiver

In December 2013, ARL and the American Library Association (ALA) filed additional reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a request to waive e-reader access requirements for individuals with disabilities. In the comments, the Associations noted, “We are writing to reiterate our opposition to the waiver sought by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers (‘the Manufacturers’) and present new information regarding the manner in which the e-readers covered by the Manufacturers’ petition (‘basic e-readers’) are utilized.”

pdf GC_Docket_No._10-213_Opposition_Letter_Sent_on_Behalf_of_ARL_and_ALA.pdf

 
 

Library Community Encourages FCC to Make Materials Accessible via FDsys

F C C website screenshotFCC websiteOn Monday, December 2, ARL joined others in the library community in a letter (PDF) requesting that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) make its primary legal materials and publicly available comments accessible via the Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital System, FDsys. The signatories noted that, “In doing so, the Commission stands not only to improve the public’s access to official government information and ability to participate in critical governmental processes during periods of crisis, but serve as a model for other agencies to implement the principles of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative.”

 
 

Two Bills Seek to Address NSA Surveillance Practices

phone with sticker that says This Phone Is Tappedimage © François ProulxThe continuous release of information concerning the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance practices has led to increased scrutiny by Congress. Two bills have been introduced that seek to address some of the NSA surveillance practices and address serious privacy concerns. First, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the FISA Improvement Act of 2013 (PDF) that was approved by the Select Committee on Intelligence on October 31. The bill was not made publicly available until after the committee’s approval. The second, a bicameral and bipartisan bill, the USA Freedom Act of 2013 (PDF), was introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Sen. Leahy (D-VT) on October 29. This bill seeks to rein in the NSA’s bulk collection, analysis, and storage of Americans’ electronic communications. ARL with others in the public and private sectors support the USA Freedom Act of 2013.

 
 

FCC to Decide E-Reader Waiver Petition by January 28

image © Terry MadeleyOn October 22, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced that the FCC needs more time to review a petition requesting a waiver for certain e-reader devices to be exempt from the FCC’s advanced communications accessibility requirements. The petition was filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau issued an order (PDF) granting a temporary waiver from the accessibility requirements for certain e-readers until January 28, 2014. During this temporary waiver period, the FCC will evaluate the merits of the petition and decide whether to grant or deny the waiver request. For more background, read about the reply comments ARL submitted to the FCC in September 2013 opposing the waiver.

 
 

ARL, Coalition Voice Support for Surveillance Transparency Legislation

phone with sticker that says This Phone Is Tappedimage © François ProulxOn September 30, ARL, together with 71 other privacy and civil liberties groups, sent a letter to the US Senate and House Judiciary Committees (PDF), calling on Congress to provide greater transparency around national security–related requests by the US government to Internet, telephone, and web-based service providers for information about users and subscribers. The coalition strongly supports the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013 (S. 1452) and the Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013 (H.R. 3035), each of which would clarify that companies have the right to publish basic statistics about the government demands for user data that they receive.

 
 

ARL Urges FCC to Support E-Reader Accessibility

image © Terry MadeleyOn September 13, ARL submitted reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The manufacturers are requesting a waiver from the FCC that would exempt e-readers from the requirement that equipment used for advanced communication services (ACS) be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.

 
 

ARL Joins Coalition in Urging Congress to Evaluate, Reform NSA Surveillance

image © François ProulxYesterday ARL, together with 59 other privacy and civil liberties groups, sent a letter (PDF) to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, calling on Congress to evaluate the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs and risks to civil liberties. Based upon such a review, the coalition urges Congress to enact critical reforms to ensure that government surveillance programs include robust safeguards for constitutional rights. Such reforms should include tightening the standards for collection and use of information, including communications metadata; increasing meaningful judicial authorization and review of such programs; and limiting the secrecy of such programs. The coalition sent the letter in advance of the Judiciary Committee's hearing today on the NSA surveillance programs.

 
 

ARL, Coalition Request Public Report on Government Surveillance

phone-with-sticker-reading-this-phone-is-tappedimage © François ProulxYesterday ARL, together with 19 other privacy and civil liberties groups, sent a letter (PDF) to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), calling on the PCLOB to author a public report about surveillance authorities and risks to civil liberties. The coalition sent the letter in advance of the PCLOB's first-ever public workshop, held today, to discuss the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs that collect phone records and monitor Internet traffic.

 
 

ARL Joins 22 Groups in Urging US Attorney General to Release Reports on Telephone Surveillance

US DOJ, image © David KingYesterday ARL, along with 22 other good-government groups, sent a letter (PDF) to the US Department of Justice urging Attorney General Eric Holder to make public any reports by Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the collection of Americans’ telephone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. If the Office of the Inspector General has not previously conducted a full review of this program, the letter asks it to do so.

 
 

Over 100 Civil Liberties Organizations and Internet Companies Demand Full-Scale Congressional Investigation of NSA Surveillance

phone with sticker on it saying "this phone is tapped"image © François ProulxToday, dozens of civil liberties organizations and Internet companies—including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, ThoughtWorks, and Americans for Limited Government—have joined the coalition demanding that Congress initiate a full-scale investigation into the National Security Agency (NSA)’s surveillance programs. The coalition includes ARL, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many other organizations and companies concerned with privacy and civil liberties. 

 
 

ARL Joins 86 Orgs, Internet Companies Demanding Committee Investigation, End to Dragnet Spying

phone with sticker on it saying "this phone is tapped"image © François ProulxYesterday, ARL joined with a broad, bipartisan coalition of 86 organizations and Internet companies—including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reddit, Mozilla, and the American Civil Liberties Union—to send a letter to Congress demanding swift investigation and reform in light of the recent revelations about unchecked global surveillance.

 
 

Letter to Senate Leadership re: Preserving the Open Internet

A letter from ARL, ALA, and EDUCAUSE asking Senate leadership to oppose S.J. Res 6 and any other legislation to overturn or undermine the Net Neutrality decision adopted by the FCC.

pdf lt-pubint-nn-14oct11.pdf

 
 

Letter to Subcommittee on Communications and Technology re: Congressional Review Act and Net Neutrality (Feb. 16, 2011)

Letter from the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and EDUCAUSE asking representatives to oppose using the Congressional Review Act or any other legislation to overturn or undermine the recent "net neutrality" decision adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

pdf lt-netneutrality-16feb11.pdf

 
   

Letter to FCC re: Preserving the Open Internet

A letter from ARL, ALA, and EDUCAUSE to the FCC stressing the importance of ensuring net neutrality order contains sufficient protections for library and higher education services made available to the public.

pdf lt-pubint-nn13dec10.pdf

 
 

Research Library Issues, no. 273 (Dec. 2010)

RLI issue 273 includes:

  • Three Key Public Policies for Research Libraries: Net Neutrality, Fair Use, Open and Public Access
  • The Importance of Net Neutrality to Research Libraries in the Digital Age
  • Challenges in Employing Fair Use in Academic and Research Libraries
  • Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Contributions to Economic Development, Competitiveness, and Innovation
 
 

In the Matter of Framework for Broadband Internet Service

Comments of the Association of Research Libraries, ALA, and EDUCAUSE in support of net neutrality.

pdf lt-pubint-nn-15jul10.pdf

 
 

Letter to Julius Genachowski re: A National Broadband Plan for our Future, GN Docket No. 09-51; Preserving the Open Internet, GN Docket No. 09-191 (May 10, 2010)

EDUCAUSE, the American Library Association, and the Association of Research Libraries applaud your "third way" proposal to ensure that students, educators, and the general public can benefit from broadband services.

pdf lt-genachowski-broadband-plan-10may10.pdf

 
   

In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband Industry Practices

Comments of the Association of Research Libraries, EDUCAUSE, Internet2, NYSERNet, and ACUTA in support of rulemaking to preserve the openness of the Internet.

pdf comments-open-internet-broadband14jan10.pdf

 
 

In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband Industry Practices

Comments from ARL, ALA, and EDUCAUSE in support of rulemaking to preserve the openness of the Internet.

pdf comments_fccpublicnotice_12oct10.pdf

 
 

In the Matter of Global Free Flow of Information on the Internet

Comments from the Center for Democracy and Technology highlight the importance of liability protections for online intermediaries and the way these protections serve to maintain the Internet as a robust platform both for the free flow of information and for trade.

pdf cdt-comments-openaccess-06dec10.pdf

 
 

Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T: Amicus brief in support of FCC

Brief of Amici Curiae Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the National Security Archive, and Openthegovernment.Org in Support of Petitioners.

pdf amicus-fcc-v-att-16nov10.pdf

 
 

In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband Industry Practices: Comments of the Open Internet Coalition

The Open Internet Coalition ("OIC") submits the following comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission's October 22, 2009, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM" or "Notice"), FCC No. 09-93.

pdf oic-nn-comments_final.pdf

 
 
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