Monday, December 19, 2005

Wait, I thought the Govt. wasn't really looking at Library Records

Apparently they are. They investigated this kid for ordering Mao Tse Tung's "Little Red Book." The order was placed via UM's inter-library loan system and was for a term paper. Here are some quick excerpts:
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor
Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.

Although The Standard-Times knows the name of the student, he is not coming forward because he fears repercussions should his name become public. He has not spoken to The Standard-Times.

Dr. Williams said in his research, he regularly contacts people in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other Muslim hot spots, and suspects that some of his calls are monitored. "My instinct is that there is a lot more monitoring than we think," he said. Dr. Williams said he had been planning to offer a course on terrorism next semester, but is reconsidering, because it might put his students at risk. "I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that," he said. "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."

Wow, don't I remember Ashcroft saying that we don't really monitor people's library habits? Anyway, this kind of stupid surveillance does have a chilling effect on individuals. As noted above, the kid involved is scared of repurcussions if his name surfaces, and the professor is frightened to teach a class on terrorism (sarcasm alert: it probably would have been some stupid liberal apologist class anyway).

I can honestly say that I do not feel safer. In light of the president's admission last week that the NSA is now doing warrantless surveillance of U.S. Citizens (which was weird considering the FBI can get a warrant for just about anything), I'm starting to feel a lot less safe.

Kid H.

Link garnered from this post on Hit & Run.

UPDATE: - there is some question as to how accurate this story is. There is an update at the Hit & Run post. As of right now, this is not confirmed.

UPDATE #2: - Per the link at Hit & Run, it appears that this story is unlikely to be true. However, it has not yet been confirmed as a hoax.


Blogger John McAdams said...

There is plenty of reason to doubt that this story is in fact true.

Apparently Bogus: Homeland Security Visited Student Who Ordered Mao’s “Little Red Book”

10:48 PM  

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