Tag Archives: privacy

BROWSE FREE OR DIE? NEW HAMPSHIRE LIBRARY IS AT PRIVACY FORE

“A small library in New Hampshire sits at the forefront of global efforts to promote privacy and fight government surveillance – to the consternation of law enforcement.The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, a city of 13,000, last year became the nation’s first library to use Tor, software that masks the location and identity of internet users, in a pilot project initiated by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Library Freedom Project. Users the world over can – and do – have their searches randomly routed through the library.” (via The Associated Press)

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Japan librarians cry foul over leaked Murakami reading list

“A war of words has erupted between privacy-advocating librarians and a newspaper after it published a snapshot of the high-school reading habits of Japan’s foremost literary son Haruki Murakami. Leaked library borrowing cards from half a century ago revealed the teenage Murakami — nowadays a perennial contender for the Nobel literature prize — checked out several titles by French writer Joseph Kessel. But the Japan Library Association on Monday lashed out at what it said was an invasion of the publicity-shy writer’s privacy.” (via Yahoo)

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Citing Right To Privacy, New Hampshire Library Offers Untraceable Web Browsing

“If you use the Internet or carry a smartphone — and let’s face it, that’s almost everyone who’s not off the grid — you probably already know that companies are tracking our movements. Apps track where we shop, the items we search for, and where we like to travel. Companies are gathering as much data as they can, in large part to come up with more effective ads to sell us more stuff, or in the case of the government, to track suspicious activity. In today’s world even your television can track your viewing behavior and send personalized ads to your mobile phone. But at least one local library has been fighting back and taking a stand for personal privacy.” (via Vermont Public Radio)

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Who Is in Control of Your Library’s Data?

“At the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the American Library Association staged “Library 21,” featuring a wall-to-wall UNIVAC computer that assisted a librarian in answering queries submitted by fairgoers. The exhibit presaged the anxiety felt in the library community today: Computers are better stewards of information than librarians. Today, some libraries are (unsuccessfully?) advocating for a bookless future. To many, that prospect seems bizarre, even sacrilegious. But hand-wringing over this possible change detracts from a more important question about the future of libraries: From accessing online card catalogs to viewing e-books, from reserving and using a computer terminal to receiving reading recommendations based on lending habits, patrons transmit potentially sensitive digital information to and through libraries’ information infrastructures.” (via Slate)

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Britain seeks greater access to citizens’ online activity

“The British government plans to make telecommunications firms keep records of customers’ Web histories and help spies hack into computers and phones under a new cyber-snooping law unveiled Wednesday. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill is intended to replace a patchwork of laws, some dating from the Web’s infancy, and set the limits of surveillance in the digital age.” (via AP)

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Despite Law Enforcement Concerns, Lebanon Board Will Reactivate Privacy Network Tor at Kilton Library

“The Kilton Public Library will reactivate its piece of the anonymous Internet browsing network Tor, despite law enforcement’s concerns that the network might be used for criminal activities. The Lebanon Library Board of Trustees let stand its unanimous June decision to devote some of the library’s excess bandwidth to a node, or “relay,” for Tor, after a full room of about 50 residents and other interested members of the public expressed their support for Lebanon’s participation in the system at a meeting Tuesday night.” (via Valley news)

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First Library to Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS Email

“Since Edward Snowden exposed the extent of online surveillance by the U.S. government, there has been a surge of initiatives to protect users’ privacy. But it hasn’t taken long for one of these efforts — a project to equip local libraries with technology supporting anonymous Internet surfing — to run up against opposition from law enforcement. In July, the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, was the first library in the country to become part of the anonymous Web surfing service Tor. The library allowed Tor users around the world to bounce their Internet traffic through the library, thus masking users’ locations.” (via Pro Publica)

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Coming soon to your St. Paul library: Data tracking

“Just about every week, Abe Alk steps up to the circulation desk at St. Paul’s Rondo Library with a big stack of movies. Documentaries are his favorite. “I have learned a lot of history from libraries, because sometimes I get like 12 DVDs,” he said. “So I am probably [their] No. 1 user.” Alk has been coming to this library since he moved to St. Paul three years ago. But the library knows almost nothing about him — probably just his name, his address and his birthday.” (via MPR)

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ALA welcomes Adobe action; greater attention to reader privacy concerns

“Today, Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke, co-chairs of the American Library Association (ALA) Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), released the following statement regarding the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software update: “Librarians have long been guardians of and advocates for reader privacy. The plain text transmission of reader data by Adobe Digital Editions over the internet was clearly a privacy violation for all users of the ADE 4.0 version software and demanded swift corrective action. (via ALA)

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Librarians Are Dedicated to User Privacy. The Tech They Have to Use Is Not.

“Adobe has made it extremely easy for unwanted eyes to read over the shoulders of library patrons. Earlier this month reports surfaced about how Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book software collects and transmits information about readers in plain text.* That insecure transmission allows the government, corporations, or potential hackers to intercept information about patron reading habits, including book title, author, publisher, subject, description, and every page read. But the Adobe scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Libraries sign contracts with technology companies to bring services to patrons all the time, and those contracts are not always favorable to library patrons. Whether it’s an agreement with an ISP to provide the library with Internet access, the publisher of a database of scholarly articles and primary source documents, or a children’s educational game vendor, these contracts are both commonplace and a relatively new development.” (via Slate.)

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