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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Libraries and bookstores: "safe havens for terrorists and spys"

The press (here, here, etc.), the blogosphere (here, here, etc.), and everything in between (here) are abuzz with the 238-187 vote in the House of Representatives to remove powers to search library and bookstore records from the scope of the Patriot Act. The topic has yet to go before the Senate, but the White House is already issuing veto threats.

All politicking aside, this begs the question, will America be at an increased risk of terrorist attack if this amendment to the hastily drafted Patriot Act is enacted? The Reuters story quotes Assistant Attorney General William Moschella saying that, "Bookstores and libraries... 'should not be carved out as safe havens for terrorists and spies, who have, in fact, used public libraries to do research and communicate with their co-conspirators.'" Many librarians have exhibited pride at the subversive nature of public libraries, but Moschella may be taking this notion a bit too far.

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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