A US student got a visit from secret agents – for what? Ordering Mao’s little red book through interlibrary loan for a paper he was writing on communism. [Update: This turns out to be a hoax; see the comments for links.]

The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a “watch list,” and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.

Also, Bush got rid of that nasty little law saying the government couldn’t spy on people without a warrant. Took several hours to get a warrant, you see. I don’t know whether monitoring interlibrary loans would have required a warrant in the good old days.

Such a pity Bush still has three years left. (via Badger etc)

10 thoughts on “surveillance

  1. Martin

    It would very much so have required a warrant.

  2. Ken

    Actually, no time would have been lost. FISA allows the government 72 hours to apply surveillance measures before notifying a judge. But Martin is right, the government must still eventually gain a warrant.

  3. Martin

    But wouldn’t they have to have a warrant to extract the information from the library, even under
    FISA? The 72 hours thing would only apply if they could the information without going through
    the library database, right?

  4. Jess

    Such a pity Bush still has three years left.

    Not if Congress gets with the program.

    Because he didn’t get rid of that law. He just ignored it.

    I wish I could make a Johnnie Cochran-style rhyme on “if the President commits a felony, you must impeach.” It would catch on like wildfire, I bet.

  5. Martin

    “If prez didn’t practice what he preached
    then you must impeach!”

  6. Elin

    Odd, for they’re using the names of real people. I doubt that any professor would have a hoax like that tied to his name!

  7. Eric

    It turns out that the student made the story up. Someone posted a link to a story, from the Boston paper I think, on my site. In this case, I’m glad that the story turned out to be false. I just wonder what the student’s motives were?

  8. KDS

    In an update, Badger (http://badbadbadger.blogspot.com/2005/12/terrified-yet.html) writes that the story was a hoax. I’m sure many people who read the original story will never find out about the hoax. With cross-posting and quoting in blogs, false stories may lead their own lives and become urban legends.

  9. FHM

    If I could choose between Bush and Kristin Halvorsen, I would take Bush anytime…

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