It's a common bugaboo about national security, the comment that the government can see your library records (the film Se7en even made it a plot point
), but the Patriot Act days we live in actually have FBI agents desiring people's reading habits. These are performed, without warrant, simply by giving a librarian a National Security letter
explaining they are gagged from discussing even recieving
a letter, and that they are required to turn over the records without ability to question or appeal the request.Librarians, however, are standing up to the invasion of their readers' privacy
-- but at great risk to themselves, which paints them in a poor light in the FBI's eyes, practically terrorists themselves. While progress has been made, enforcing lawful search-and-seizure requirements for all
law enforcement, terrorism focus or no, the government is still pushing the limits of Constitutional review of citizen's reading history.
Labels: crime, library, patriot act, privacy