Little Red Book ILL gets patron a visit from Homeland Security

A student did an ILL for a specific version of Mao’s Little Red Book and wound up getting a visit from Homeland Security. Obviously, there is more to this story than the short news article, but the article alleges that the Department of Homeland Security monitors Interlibrary Loan requests.

update from the bs detector alert: An ALA Councilor notes that there are two versions of this story circulating with different names attached which definitely sounds fishy and makes it worth further investigation into what exactly is going on. Other councilors have emailed the prof from UCSC mentioned in the second article and he said it was the first he’d heard of it. I’ve emailed the reporter and one of the professors cited in the recent article and I’ll let you know what I find out, if anything. Fellow Councilor Rory Litwin has posted this follow-up to the Council list with more first hand information from one of the profesors involved. I posted a follow-up including some feedback I’d gotten from the reporter of the most recent article. BoingBoing is faster with the summary action than I am.

This is all coming on the heels of some unpleasant revelations about the current administration’s use of the National Security Agency to surveil domestic targets without getting FISA court approval. Who would have thought that this decade would be the one where all llibrarians learned what FISA stood for? How many of you watched CSPAN a little more carefully than usual this weekend [or is my house the only house that does this] to see what happened with the USA PATRIOT Act?

5 Responses to “Little Red Book ILL gets patron a visit from Homeland Security”

  1. Jack Stephens Says:

    the article alleges that the Department of Homeland Security monitors Interlibrary Loan requestsNot true: One of the professors alleges it, in a quote, complete with quotation marks, introduced by the word “apparently.”

  2. kathleen Says:

    Although this might yet prove a hoax it certainly is within the realm of possibility given the phone tapping and e-mail monitoring of domestic people w/o FISA oversight.============
    Looks like “Inside Higher Ed” is confused as well.
    Federal interrogation of a student at UMass Dartmouth could chill academic research, scholars warn.

  3. librarianishish is the new black » Blog Archive » Julskämt? Says:

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  4. jummy Says:

    i saw that the item which allegedly lights up the red phone at the nsa is the little red book, and immediately thought, “rcp!” it’d be worth it to see if this unnamed student isn’t active with the world can’t wait campaign. the real reason why he’s concealing his identity is probably that he’s on record saying all kinds of incredible stuff.

    “i’m standing on the traffic island between the sunoco and the mall with my comrades because bush is teh hitlerr!!!”

    this is no doubt a hoax.

  5. » Homeland Insecurity Says:

    [...] Not surprisingly, others had similar questions and, as the story bounced around the blogosphere, some of these folks set about investigating whether the story were a hoax. (I was lazier – after some initial internet searches to confirm that the newspaper and reporter appear to be real, and that the professors named in the article appear to exist and teach in relevant areas, I satisfied myself with emailing the problem to the good folks at Snopes.) [...]