Library computer seizure makes the bigtime

The incident with the library computers being taken by law enforcement that I mentioned a few weeks back has now made a splash in the big media. Girl’s case had library, cops in privacy standoff. It’s interesting to see how the headline of the same AP article changes depending on who is using it. In another place it’s titled Library confrontation points up privacy dilemma or Kimball Library required warrant to view Brooke Bennett’s record’s

5 thoughts on “Library computer seizure makes the bigtime

  1. Pingback: Conspirama
  2. how this kind of thing gets sensationalized into controversy is beyond me. seems pretty simple. law enforcement needs the library’s computers to aid the effort to solve the disappearance of a child. law enforcement obtains a search warrant. law enforcement obtains computers. done. i can imagine no better motivation for becoming *extremely freaking organized* than an effort to solve the disappearance of a child.

    if law enforcement doesn’t need a warrant to get data off of the library’s computers for a *very good reason*, then law enforcement wouldn’t need a warrant to obtain the library’s computers for *any* reason. right? like, if they’re stalking an ex; or would like to get to know a little more about that totally hot barista at the local coffee house. or if they’re just bored and randomly curious. it’s a short step from there, to just walking into your house to see if you have anything interesting lying around.

    if they could just do that, law enforcement would become a pretty attractive career choice for exactly the people we would *not* want to have in law enforcement.

    so: hooraaaaaay awesome, tough librarian!

  3. The Orlando Sentinel had a positive headline: “Librarians find unexpected role: Privacy guardian”.

  4. I’d be careful not to read too much into the different headlines. Each paper writes its own headline because each paper is using the story in a different physical space (which differ by length, number of decks or rows, size of type, etc). Headline writing is an art and not such an easy one because you need to be succinct, accurate and fill the available space (so the different decks aren’t hugely uneven). As a recovering journalist, I can tell you that one column headlines are a particular pain in the neck. So if someone came up with something that generally describes the story in the space they had available, that’s what’s determining the headline — probably not some predetermined institutional position on privacy v. law enforcement.

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