The Day We Fight Back

The Day We Fight Back

Today, as part of The Day We Fight Back, a national demonstration against mass surveillance, the American Library Association is urging library supporters to ask their representatives in Congress to support the USA FREEDOM Act (S.1599 and H.R.3361).

ALA’s Washington Office explains why:

ALA is making this effort because of the library community’s long standing commitment to privacy, starting with the protection of patron library records. Grassroots support from ALA has meant a lot to the reform attempts since passage of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. Now with public knowledge about the extensive surveillance of telephone records and other revelations, there is an opportunity get some real reforms to the surveillance system. That is why we need our library voices to express the need for ending mass surveillance, bring due process to the FISA court process and rationality to the collection and retention of data about millions of people.

The FREEDOM Act, introduced by Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), seeks to end bulk collection of Americans’ communications information and introduce transparency and oversight for National Security Agency investigations. As ALA explains:

This bicameral piece of legislation is intended to end bulk collection of telephone metadata, prevent bulk collection of Internet metadata, and permit companies to report publicly on the number of FISA orders and National Security Letters they have received and complied with, and the number of users (or accounts) whose information was sought under those orders and letters.

The bill would also require the government itself to make additional disclosures about the intelligence surveillance it conducts. It would also establish a process for declassifying significant opinions issued by the FISA court and create an Office of the Special Advocate charged with arguing for privacy at the FISA Court.

Please ask both your U.S. representative and senators to co-sponsor this important legislation. If your any of your legislators have already co-sponsored, please thank them for bringing more transparency and oversight to these spying programs.


The Changing Face of Facebook

On March 9, our Spring 2011 Technology on Your Own Terms workshops will continue with The Changing Face of Facebook, to be held from 1pm-2pm in WML305.

If you are a Facebook user, you have probably asked yourself at least once, “Why does Facebook make so many changes to its site?” In this session, librarian Donna Mazziotti will present an overview of the latest wave of changes made to the Facebook user interface. She will also offer a rationale for why Facebook is an ever-evolving tool, as well as reasons why users should embrace Facebook’s mission to always improve its product. After this session, attendees will grow from passive to proactive Facebook users, able to educate themselves about changes made to Facebook as the changes occur. A light lunch will be provided during the discussion.

All faculty and staff members are welcome, but seats are limited, so please register at (under Technology On Your Own Terms).

Choose Privacy Week

Choose PrivacyChoose Privacy Week is a new initiative of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  Library users are invited to join a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age.

You can find more information about this initiative at the Web site.

Join The Revolution! Fill out the short form on this Web site to join other privacy advocates across the nation. Your identity will be safe and secure, but your sentiments will be amplified in Washington.

This short film introduces some of today’s most interesting and complex privacy issues.

Share with Surety: Facebook Privacy Settings Workshop

Take a second to Google the phrase “facebook privacy” and you will probably come across a few anxiety-provoking results.  You might see links to articles with headlines like “Facebook’s Privacy Changes: When Will it Go Too Far (and will you even notice)?”, “Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, and even “Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says the Age of Privacy is Over.”

For experienced Facebook users, these concerns might be old hat.  But if you’re a relatively new Facebook user and you’re not sure how to tweak your profile to account for all of these changes, we’ve got a workshop for you.

Next Wednesday, April 7 from 12pm-1pm in WML306, Public Services librarian Donna Mazziotti will teach a Technology on Your Own Terms workshop that she’s titled “Share With Surety: Facebook Privacy Settings for the Casual Facebook User.” During the session, Donna will walk participants through customizing their own Facebook Privacy Settings and will help attendees understand what each setting means.

The workshop is open to University of Scranton faculty and staff members, so if you’re interested, please let us know by registering at  The workshop will be hands-on, and we’re assuming that attendees already have a Facebook account.  If you plan to participate, make sure that you’ll be able to remember your account information when you arrive at the workshop.  Hope to see you there!