[Web4lib] CALEA policies?

Cary Gordon listuser at chillco.com
Fri Nov 4 15:29:58 EDT 2011

Hi Sigrid,

This makes me furious. It is a case of bureaucrats taking the path of
least resistance. It is a huge leap to infer that CALEA, which
preserves law enforcement's ability to contact specific court-ordered
monitoring, has anything to do with widely tracking internet users in
libraries. By that logic, Starbucks should fingerprint every wifi

I hope that you will contact the EFF and the ALA, because this is
truly terrible and, IMHO, un-American.



On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM, Sigrid Kelsey <sigridkelsey at gmail.com> wrote:
> Cary,
> My understanding is that we are doing this to remain exempt, but I'm not
> sure why, or who advised us.  However, I have had one person contact me off
> list stating that his university's legal department advised his library that
> they did fall under the category of a privately run network, and were
> therefore expected to abide by CALEA.  The law seems to be open to
> interpretation, and that is one reason I asked whether others had had legal
> advice.
> I suppose that computers are very different library resources than books,
> because they facilitate communication, which is what the law is about.
> Thank you for your input-
> Sigrid
> On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Cary Gordon <listuser at chillco.com> wrote:
>> Do you know where they are getting that information? It sounds like
>> urban legend, but these days, I guess that anything, no matter how
>> egregious, is possible.
>> CALEA is an act that sets rules and guidelines for telecommunications
>> carriers concerning digital telephone networks. While I can imagine
>> that a very zealous agent could come to interpret telecommunications
>> carriers as including libraries, and digital telephone networks as
>> including public workstations, I think that we would be hearing about
>> this. First and foremost, I would expect to hear about it from the EFF
>> <http://eff.org>, one of CALEA's most vocal critics.
>> Thanks,
>> Cary
>> On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 7:06 AM, Sigrid Kelsey <sigridkelsey at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Our IT department has informed us that CALEA requires us to ask to see
>> > (and
>> > presumably record names from) our patrons' IDs in order to use our
>> > publicly
>> > accessible computers.
>> >
>> > I would like to know what other libraries are doing in order to comply
>> > with, or remain exempt from complying with CALEA.  I'm especially
>> > interested in any library who has had legal advice from an attorney
>> > regarding this, and any official policies.  We've not been doing this
>> > since
>> > CALEA was passed, but now IT wants to enforce it.
>> >
>> > We are a tax-funded state university library.  IT owns the approximately
>> > 15
>> > "public" computers, but the only reason they provide the public
>> > computers
>> > in the library is because we ask them to as a publicly funded and
>> > depository library.  The rest of our more than 250 computers (also owned
>> > by
>> > IT and not the library) require the students to log in with their own
>> > school id number and so the users are logged that way.
>> >
>> > thank you,
>> > Sigrid Kelsey
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Web4lib mailing list
>> > Web4lib at webjunction.org
>> > http://lists.webjunction.org/web4lib/
>> >
>> >
>> --
>> Cary Gordon
>> The Cherry Hill Company
>> http://chillco.com

Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company

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