Against Regulation

The ALA has joined with the American Council on Education and other organizations in filing suit against FCC regulations that could cost college billions of dollars to make eavesdropping slightly more convenient. The plaintiffs argue that the changes are not necessary and that law enforcement needs can be served (when warrants are properly served) without these expensive changes. There’s more coverage of this story in The New York Times, the Chroncle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

I happened to be reading about this news at the same time an Australian friend send me an article about a speech given by Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee (author of Waiting for the Barbarians among other novels) at the National Library of Australia. His reminder that terrorism as a threat was used to argue in favor of apartheid has caused some controversy as the Australian PM pushes legislation to expand police powers in the name of national security.

Seems ironic that an FBI that can’t get their own computer systems to work wants us to fine tune ours at great cost for their benefit. I guess “Kafkaesque” is a good word for it. Or is “Coetzeean” a word?

Author: Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

3 thoughts on “Against Regulation”

  1. Thanks for pointing that article out, Marc. I hadn’t seen it. I’m more and more reminded of the bad old days of COINTELPRO. Claiming this unauthorized surveillance was simply a bureaucratic oversight isn’t good enough. Oops, we meant to read that suspect his rights but hey, we forgot. A warrant? Oh, shucks–it just paperwork, hardly important when we’re fighting terrorism; so sue me. Er, wait a minute – that was a figure of speech.

    FISA and National Security Letters are a great work-around for all the hassels imposed by that annoying Bill of Rights. Remember the Paperwork Reduction Act? Same idea, only it’s a Civil Liberties Reduction Act.

  2. New technologies, the multi-media one, Internet and the connection in network contribute in a way important to renew the modes of teaching and the tools of training. But to learn differently and teach differently, it is not enough to equip with computers and “to connect” the schools, colleges, universities, centers of vocational training and education of the adults
    The Council recalls to it that the establishment of new technologies in education is not an end in itself. It must serve the attack of the specific objectives of formation to each order of teaching, support a greater school success and develop the capacity to learn throughout the life.

    The Council thus invites the Minister and the mediums of education never not to lose sight of the fact that the integration of new technologies must be done in bond with the programs of studies, to fall under a project of establishment and to be subjected to an evaluation
    The higher Council of the education, which devotes a second annual report in six years to the question, notes that many efforts were done to support the use of new technologies in teaching, especially as regards accessibility with computer equipement. The progression of Quebec seems still a little slower than that of the whole of the North-American company. On a European scale and inside the francophonie, however, its more favorable positioning could enable him to play a part of leader in the teaching integration of technologies and the training area on line.

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