Friday, July 25, 2008


The American Library Association wants us to join them in the fight for our right to privacy. After the Patriot Act was passed, The FBI used National Security Letters to obtain library records, business records, and pretty much anything else they wanted. The NSL is essentially a search warrant that doesn't have to be approved by a judge and there's a bonus--it comes with a gag order. So in the library's case they couldn't tell you your library records were taken by the FBI. Many libraries fought back. They stopped keeping records!

Privacy in the digital age is tough. Oftentimes we here there is no right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. One of the Bill of Rights does include it. It's one we never hear about. The Ninth Amendment says:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In other words, just because the right to privacy is not specifically mentioned doesn't mean we don't have it. Today the silence of the Ninth Amendment is deafening. Thankfully our librarians are fighting for our right to privacy. Are you going to speak up for it? Stop by the library, check out a book, and thank them for going to bat for you.

No comments: