The American Library Association has joined a coalition of 18 stakeholders to articulate a set of tech “rights and opportunities” for the incoming Trump administration. In a statement, released December 6, ALA officials said the coalition is designed to advocate for “sound national technology and media policy” and to highlight “the ability of the internet to drive economic opportunity and education.”
The document, Technology Rights & Opportunities, urges Trump to pursue “policies that respect the principles that have allowed the internet to become what it is today, and that support the civil rights of all Americans." The values outlined include:
- Access: Everyone should have affordable, high-quality options to access the Internet. All of the information on the public Internet should be accessible to all users.
- Openness: The Internet must be protected from discrimination against content or users, and individuals should have the right to create, innovate, and share without interference from gatekeepers.
- Inclusion: The expansion of technology must equally take into account the needs of all Americans and not discriminate against people of color; rural, tribal, and low-income communities; people with disabilities; or other vulnerable communities.
- Free Speech: Individuals must be able to express themselves freely online and offline. The government should not put up barriers to lawful expression or censor the internet.
- Choice: Our Internet infrastructure should be diverse, decentralized, and open, with a competitive choice of providers.
- Privacy: Individuals should have the right to protect and control access to their personal data, and to communicate and access information without any undue intrusion from government or corporations. The government and private actors must also be transparent about how data is stored, used, and shared.
- Opportunity: Technology policy must strive to support economic opportunity for all.
“As an association representing libraries, librarians, library professionals and stakeholders, ALA is proud to be part of a large coalition advocating for technology rights and opportunity,” said ALA president Julie Todaro, in a statement, adding that “decision makers at local, state and federal levels, government agencies and other public and private entities should look to libraries to get our country up to speed technologically in a way that preserves all our civil rights."