Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“You don't have to buy from anyone. You don't have to work at any particular job. You don't have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose.”     Harry Browne

November 28, 2007

A Small Win For Privacy

by Brad Warbiany

Amazon user data request dropped

Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Amazon.com Inc., newly unsealed court records show.

The withdrawal came after a judge ruled that the customers had a 1st Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government.

“The [subpoena's] chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker wrote.

“The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission,” Crocker wrote. “It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else.”

In the days of warrant-less wiretaps, and PATRIOT act concerns that the feds may be snooping on your public library records, it’s nice to see that someone is still willing to step up and protect the rights of individuals.

It’s a small step, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/11/28/a-small-win-for-privacy/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

1 Comment

  1. Hear, hear!

    Comment by Jeff Molby — November 28, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML