• EFF: An Open Letter Urging Universities To Encourage Conversation About Online Privacy

    by  • December 8, 2013 • HIgher Ed, Politics & Law • 0 Comments

    EFF logoWhen a group of students from Iowa State University (ISU) contacted us earlier this month about forming an ISU Digital Freedom group, they were facing an unexpected problem: despite their simple goal of fostering a healthy conversation around freedom-enhancing software, the university administration denied them official recognition. The university has since granted the Digital Freedom group the green-light to meet on campus, but under unduly restrictive conditions. These students’ story is instructive to students around the country and the world who are concerned about online privacy.

    The administration initially denied the Digital Freedom Group’s proposal because it did not want ISU students either to advocate for or participate in the “secrecy network” Tor, and would not permit the student group to use any “free software designed to enable online anonymity.” The students had not proposed that a Tor node be established on campus. Rather they asked that they be able to provide a forum to “discuss, learn and practice techniques to anonymize and protect digital communication.”

    The students were told they had to gain clearance from the Iowa State University attorneys and security clearance from the university’s Chief Information Officer. They were ultimately successful, and Iowa State University is now home to its very own Digital Freedom Group.

    Read the full letter @ EFF.org.

    About

    Michael Sauers is currently the Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska and has been training librarians in technology for more than 15 years. He has also been a public library trustee, a bookstore manager for a library friends group, a reference librarian, serials cataloger, technology consultant, and bookseller. He earned his MLS in 1995 from the University at Albany’s School of Information Science and Policy. Michael’s twelfth book, Google Search Secrets (w/ Christa Burns) was published October 2013 and has two more books on the way. He has also written dozens of articles for various journals and magazines. In his spare time he blogs at travelinlibrarian.info, runs Web sites for authors and historical societies, takes many, many photos, and reads more than 100 books a year.

    http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/

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