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ABFE Free Speech Report, vol. 1, no. 5, September 2015
Counting Down to Banned Books Week
Preparations for Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3) are in their final days. American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) has tripled the number of display kits that it is distributing to booksellers this year. More than 450 American Booksellers Association (ABA) members received the kit in the August Red Box. ABFE will be mailing others as part of an Ingram promotion. A total of 500 kits will be distributed.
Booksellers, Librarians File Brief in New NSA Case
ABFE has joined the American Library Association (ALA) and other library groups in urging a federal court to limit the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance of international electronic communications, including those relating to the purchase and use of books. On September 3, ABFE and ALA filed an amicus brief in support of an ACLU lawsuit challenging Upstream, a once-secret program that was revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward J. Snowden. “Booksellers and librarians have been strong defenders of reader privacy. We want to ensure that the protections that exist in the physical world apply to digital records,” ABFE Director Chris Finan said.
Delaware Passes Online Reader Privacy Law
On January 1, 2016, a new law will go into effect in Delaware that requires all “book service providers” with online sales exceeding two percent of their gross sales to protect the privacy of customer information. The law applies to both Delaware booksellers and book service providers with customers in Delaware. While the Delaware law does not impose a penalty, it does create the possibility that a company could be the target of a civil suit for breach of privacy. Oren Teicher, ABA’s chief executive officer, wrote a letter urging Gov. Jack Markell to veto the bill because it could apply to independent bookstores that sell a lot of books on the Internet. ABFE urges all booksellers to take steps to protect reader privacy. A list of recommendations and resources is available here.
Latest “Free Speech” Column: “What Polls Tells Us About Free Speech”
Two new polls about free expression have produced some alarming results: one-third of Americans do not know what the First Amendment is; there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of people who think some books should be banned; and there is strong support for rating books like movies and video games. In his latest “Free Speech” column for Bookselling This Week, ABFE Director Chris Finan takes a close look at the numbers.
Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) Update: Latest Book Challenges
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
|The American Booksellers for Free Expression, a program of the American Booksellers Association, is the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship. Please visit our resources page for information about how booksellers can prepare for a variety of free speech emergencies or email email@example.com. In a crisis, call me, ABFE Director Chris Finan, at (917) 509-0340.|
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