Thursday, April 13, 2006

Things I've Never Understood

From today's Times, "Librarians win as U.S. relents on secrecy law." Call me crazy, but this whole library records thing is the one pro-civil liberties, anti-war on terror argument I've never been able to wrap my brain around.

First, I don't understand who would think that their library records are private. After all, the library I frequent proclaims itself to be a "public library" and is funded through local tax dollars. Sure, I don't expect the library to share all their records with the FBI, but even before the Patriot Act I would have never thought that other government departments would be prevented from seeing them.

Then there's this notion of a gag order that the government has just relented on. Of course, I can see the argument that this is political speech, and libraries should have the right to protest and tell the world when their records are being requested. Yet at the same time, that seems like an awfully easy way for a terrorist to discover he is under much closer surveillance than he had thought.

If you want privacy from the government, maybe you shouldn't work for the government, or patron their libraries.


Post a Comment

<< Home