4.27.2007

The old having-it-both-ways club

Apparently, Austin King was lying when he griped about the feds being able to search library records, because, dig this, he wants to keep tabs on everyone who buys a textbook (scroll down to the article "Book 'em, Dano"):
The ordinance, which after a round of referrals will come back before the Madison Common Council next Tuesday, extends the city’s existing ordinance for secondhand dealers to stores that make at least 25% of their revenue selling textbooks. It requires these stores, when buying used textbooks, to get a physical description of the seller, check his or her ID, and record a driver’s license or Social Security number.

Moreover, sellers must list “each textbook included in the transaction” on a Madison Police Department form.

Yep, no problem at all. And of course, this little bit of totalitarianism will have absolutely zero blowback on King, as he jumped ship before his little chip at the right to privacy became public knowledge. Clever play, Austin, clever play.

Amusingly, I'd say Sandy Torkildson, proprietor of A Room of One's Own, has it exactly right:
“The police,” she says, “don’t have a right to know what people are reading.”