Librarians Don't Like CISA

Librarians care an awful lot about your privacy. It's not really all that surprising, we have always been the trusted keepers of secrets, the nonjudgemental face at the reference desk. In the digital realm that extends to your information, all of your information. We want the internet to remain private because accessing private information is the first step in restricting and abusing it.

In the current crisis of privacy in American Society there are often good intentions on both sides of critical issues. The proponents of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) want to use it to catch hackers. Along the way this will would troll through great swaths of personal data from unrelated parties over public networks (like the computer at your library). This bill has the potential to funnel huge amounts of your data to the government without a warrant of any kind.

Librarians think about information a great deal, all kinds of information, and we realize that it is a precious and a private commodity. CISA mandates the implementation of secret "back doors" around encryption for personal communication. If law enforcement had a "golden key" to access your private encrypted information than this could invite the use and abuse of these same resources by other parties. These bad actors could access and exploit information using the same very tools enacted to limit them.

CISA has good momentum but there is still time to join the numerous privacy groups (including librarians) who are calling on the president directly to stand up for strong encryption and the security of our privacy.

Adult Literacy by Alyssa Winans from EveryLibrary's Vote Libraries Campaign