The American Library Association has created an excellent public education resource on the privacy issues facing our society – a web site called privacyrevolution.org.
The ALA has long been a staunch defender of privacy and free speech, and a frequent ally of the ACLU on those issues. In fact, libraries have been the scene of many free speech battles in recent years. If you think about it, librarians are our natural allies since libraries exemplify the democratic ideal of citizens’ access to information, while protecting those citizens’ right to keep their inquiries and interests private. As the site explains:
Librarians feel a professional responsibility to protect the right to search for information free from surveillance. Privacy has long been the cornerstone of library services in America.
Why? Because the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. Librarians defend that freedom every day.
Libraries are information hubs for their communities. They are also natural centers for learning and talking about information issues… including privacy.
The ALA is currently marking “Choose Privacy” week and is posting guest blogs and expert videos (including the ACLU’s own Mike German) discussing different aspects of privacy in today’s America.