26 June, 2002

Welcome, Citizen

"People are scared and they think that by giving up their rights, especially their right to privacy, they will be safe," Krug said. "But it wasn't the right to privacy that let terrorists into our nation. It had nothing to do with libraries or library records."
Under the Patriot Act, the government can now ask for your library records, as well as purchase histories at retail bookstores. Why, exactly, is it that the government should be able to find out what books you like to read?

For now, it's just the FBI investigating the library records of those suspected to have dealings with the terrorist attacks on September 11. But Dubya wants to go pre-emptive in the war on terror. It worries me that soon, the FBI (and CIA, NSA, etc) will all want to be able to peruse library records in real time. Keeping an eye on suspect materials, and seeing who is checking it out. My paranoia meter is on high with this one. There are a lot of books available from your local library that deal with subjects like flight training, bomb making, chemicals, money laundering, and the like. Mercifully, many of them are fiction, but hey, people still get ideas. Imagine the fun of explaining to your neighbors why a couple of FBI agents came visiting your home, all because you checked out a chemistry book.

I think it's about time to get in the habit of paying cash for all my purchases.

No comments:

Post a Comment