Do you know if Big Brother is watching your library records?

It looks like Big Brother could be watching your library and holding your librarian under wraps from telling you you’re being investigated. Kind of disturbing when you think about how the non-disclosure orders could effect you. Why? Every boy in school back in the day had checked out the Anarchist’s Cookbook at one point. It was one of the most sought-after books at the junior highs, especially around teenage boys.
Even The Poor Man’s James Bond was another favorite. Not to mention countless number of armored vehicles, and weapons of all sorts. Well, no longer is the case for just checking out books for the sake of “being cool” and knowing things. Don’t be checking out books about hunting, ninjas, or murder mysteries. Now, if you checked those same books out, Big Brother will probably put you on a list.
The largest concern with the National Security Letters is the fact that your librarian, under threat of prosecution, cannot disclose that your records are being requested under a “open-ended nondisclosure order.” National Security Letters have come under much debate due to the potential for abuse of law enforcement without need for judicial process.
It is unfortunate that a favorite pastime of Americans is now coming under scrutiny because of the disregard for checks and balances. While judicial review is a hassle, it’s also a necessary annoyance for law enforcement to make sure that they are not carrying outside of their bounds.
Which brings back the age-old question: “Who enforces the enforcers?”
Via NYTimes

  • My understanding is that, under the direction of library director Sandy Neerman, the Greensboro Public Library does not keep records of books you have checked out once you return them.
    (Side note: The library used to have a nice website, now it has been swallowed up by the sterile city site — which Lux.et.umbra won’t let me kink to.)

  • My understanding is that, under the direction of library director Sandy Neerman, the Greensboro Public Library does not keep records of books you have checked out once you return them.
    (Side note: The library used to have a nice website, now it has been swallowed up by the sterile city site — which Lux.et.umbra won’t let me kink to.)