USA PATRIOT Act Revisited at the ALA Annual Conference

Editor’s Note: While this ALA Annual Conference event is not programming-related, I thought given the recent NSA leaks it might be of interest.

Are you surprised by the latest revelations of government surveillance programs? Are you interested in the government’s need to improve the balance between individual privacy rights and terrorism prevention?

Michael German, senior policy counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), will detail government spying during “WE TOLD YOU SO … Proven Use of the ‘Library Provision’ of the USA PATRIOT Act and Other Surveillance Issues,” an interactive session that will be held during the 2013 Annual American Library Association on Sunday, June 30, 2013, from 3–4 p.m., in the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S501BCD.

German will discuss the latest wholesale use of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act by the NSA and the FBI to get cell phone records from cell carriers and how those carriers just turned over all subscriber phone records. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear about surveillance of AP Wire Service reporters, the search for whistleblowers, and the implications for the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press of these activities. German develops policy positions and pro-active strategies concerning national security and open government.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. German served for sixteen years as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. Mr. German served as an adjunct professor for Law Enforcement and Terrorism at the National Defense University and is a Senior Fellow with Mr. German’s first book, Thinking Like a Terrorist, was published in January 2007. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from Northwestern University Law School.

The 2013 ALA Annual Conference will take place from June 27–July 2, 2013, in Chicago.