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ARL, SPARC, Other Organizations Oppose FIRST Act

"first" rubber stampOn March 24, 2014, ARL, SPARC, and 14 other organizations sent a letter (PDF) to Chairman Smith (R-TX) and Representative Johnson (D-TX) urging them to modify the Frontiers in Innovation Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4186), which reauthorizes parts of the America COMPETES Act. The bill includes many deeply problematic provisions relating to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and also includes restricted provisions for public access to research results.

 
 

Coalition Letter to US Senate Commerce Committee on COMPETES Act (Oct. 9, 2013)

On October 9, 2013, ARL joined more than 300 universities and businesses; higher education associations; and nonprofit, industry, and research organizations in a letter to US Senate Commerce Committee leadership supporting reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act. The COMPETES Act promotes innovation through research and development to improve the competitiveness of the United States. The legislation is focused on the activities and programs of several agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

pdf ltr-to-senate-commerce-cmte-on-competes-act-9oct2013.pdf

 
 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 

Coalition Urges Senate to Protect Americans’ Privacy in Cybersecurity Legislation

cybersecurity-iconimage © Free PressYesterday ARL joined 37 other privacy and civil liberties organizations and companies in a letter (PDF) urging the US Senate to adhere to a basic set of principles to protect Americans’ privacy when drafting its cybersecurity legislation.

 
 

Letter Urging US Senate to Protect Americans' Privacy in Cybersecurity Legislation (June 25, 2013)

On June 25, 2013, ARL joined 37 other privacy and civil liberties organizations and companies in a letter urging the US Senate to adhere to a basic set of principles to protect Americans’ privacy when drafting its cybersecurity legislation.

pdf ltr-cybersecurity-privacy-25jun13.pdf

 
 

ARL, Coalition Support NSF Merit Review Process

us-capitolimage © Wally GobetzThis week ARL joined 109 other organizations as part of the Coalition for National Science Funding in a letter (PDF) to the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, as well as the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, expressing concern about recent Congressional actions that call into question the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) merit review process for awarding research grants.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Applauds Introduction of Unlocking Technology Act

hacking an iphoneimage © Bjørn MolstadThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) applauds the introduction in the US House of Representatives on May 9, 2013, of H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill guarantees that legitimate uses of digital works and technologies will not run afoul of copyright law, even if they require breaking digital locks. Prompted by the recent uproar over cell phone unlocking, the bill recognizes that issue as a symptom of a much larger problem and would fix that problem permanently.

 
 

ARL Applauds Judiciary Committee Action to Reform Privacy Laws

patrick-leahySenator Patrick Leahy
image © World Bank
On Thursday, April 25, the US Senate Judiciary Committee took another crucial step toward fixing outdated privacy laws by endorsing a bill proposed by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that includes vital reforms to give appropriate privacy protection to e-mail and cloud storage. The committee passed a similar bill in November 2012, but the legislative session ended before the measure could reach the full Senate. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) applauds Chairman Leahy and all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for their strong, bipartisan support for reasonable privacy protections online.

 
 

Letter Urging Representatives to Vote ‘No’ on H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA) (Apr. 16, 2012)

We the undersigned organizations urge you to vote "no" on H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA). We are gravely concerned that this bill will allow companies that hold very sensitive and personal information to liberally share it with the government, which could then use the information without meaningful oversight for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

pdf aclu-coalition-cispa-16apr2012.pdf

 
 
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