Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Libraries Say Yes, Officials Do Quiz Them About Users

Libraries Say Yes, Officials Do Quiz Them About Users - New York Times
Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.
The Bush administration says that while it is important for law enforcement officials to get information from libraries if needed in terrorism investigations, officials have yet to actually use their power under the Patriot Act to demand records from libraries or bookstores.
The study does not directly answer how or whether the Patriot Act has been used to search libraries. The association said it decided it was constrained from asking direct questions on the law because of secrecy provisions that could make it a crime for a librarian to respond. Federal intelligence law bans those who receive certain types of demands for records from challenging the order or even telling anyone they have received it.

I think this is the worst part of the whole Patriot Act bullshit. The Government can say we never use it, and it is impossible to check. Oh the best part is they only surveyed 1500 public librarys. If the surveyed them all it would extrapolate to 600 formal request since 2001. That doesn't include any informal request (66 were reported).
New York Times Article so registration is required to read the whole thing or you can get the uber-wicked BugMeNot plug in for Firefox.


Post a Comment

<< Home