May 1-7 2013: Freedom from Surveillance
We live in an age when knowledge is power. New technologies give us unprecedented access to information. They also facilitate surveillance, with the power to collect and mine personal information.
People enjoy the convenience of having information at their fingertips. But most people don’t realize the trade off. For example, citizens turn a blind eye to the fact that online searches create traceable records that make them vulnerable to questioning by the FBI, or that government agencies can track their phone calls, airline travel, online purchases, and more.
In this environment, convenience and fear trump the fundamental right of privacy. And privacy has become so amorphous an idea that many citizens have resigned themselves to an inevitable erosion of rights.
In an information age, it’s vital to protect the impulse to be curious, read, and learn. Yet people seem resigned to the loss of their privacy rights because they see no recourse.
(adapted from Privacy Revolution. American Library Association)
Here are some selected resources to explore:
- “Choose Privacy” features youth, parents, librarians, and citizens discussing privacy in a digital age, with commentary by author Neil Gaiman and constitutional law scholar Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago.
- “Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age” examines the government’s growing use and abuse of surveillance tools to track and spy on immigrant communities and the proposals to adopt these same tools to monitor and track the activities of all Americans.
- “Data Mining, Government Surveillance, and Civil Liberties” features Michael German, ACLU senior policy counsel for national security and privacy and former FBI agent.
FAQ's from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Privacy Position Paper (American Libarary Association)