Aug 26, 2002
A survey of more than 1000 public libraries found that about 1 in 12 had been visited by the FBI in the first three months after the Patriot Act was passed.
The FBI is able to search the libraries' records under this act to find out what people are reading. An FBI agent has only to state that he believes that a person who used the library is involved with a terrorist or with a terrorist activity. He needs no proof to obtain a search warrant and look through the library's records.
Under this act, librarians who talk about the FBI investigation could be prosecuted for a criminal offense. The director for intellectual freedom of the American Library Association, Judith Krug, said, "It's super secret and anyone who wants to talk about what the FBI did at their library faces prosecution. That has nothing to do with patriotism."
If you are one of the millions who uses the Internet at your local library and you read about September 11 or terrorism or Osama bin Laden there, you might already be on an FBI list. Is this a way to find actual terrorists? Obviously not! But it is a way to intimidate everyone.
Finally, it's simply another method of thought control, directed especially against anyone who disagrees with the government.