Information Literacy, Privacy, & Risk: What Are the Implications of Mass Surveillance for Libraries?

Gabe Gossett
Librarian for Extended Education, Western Washington University

Rebecca Wilder
Attorney (Washington State), Research Paralegal, former Adjunct Instructor

Brian Davidson
Career and Academic Advisor, Whatcom Community College


In light of new revelations about government warrantless wiretapping and electronic surveillance what role do librarians have in educating our patrons about digital privacy and security issues? Given that digital privacy is further complicated by for-profit Internet companies services, such as those provided by Facebook and Google, are our users savvy enough to understand threats to their information in this increasingly complex digital landscape?  This presentation explores issues related to current events and information security with an eye towards the implications for information literacy standards; brief examination of tools used to enhance information privacy; and discuss how librarians might play a role in helping users become more information aware.

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