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Choose Privacy Week Video from 20K Films on Vimeo.

The American Library Association’s “Choose Privacy” week kicks off with a ~20 minute video featuring writers and thinkers talking about the value of privacy in simple, accessible, thought-provoking terms. Included are me, Neil Gaiman, and many others. Produced by Laura Zinger and 20K films, it’s a really fine little introduction to subject from the towering heroes of the information revolution: the librarians.

Choose Privacy Week Video

2 Responses to “Choose Privacy: video from the American Library Assoc”

  1. mimi

    So the ALA values privacy? At the downtown Minneapolis library, the city’s main branch, there’s a surveillance camera in the bathroom–yes, the bathroom! And there are lots more cameras throughout the library. (Makes me feel safe, really. Wouldn’t want to get attacked while I’m reading or peeing, lol.)

    The security guards walk around and spy on patrons who use the computers, to see what people are looking at on the Internet, presumably to make sure they’re not accessing pornography or certain social networking sites. Some web sites like skype, startpage and tor-proxy are CENSORED by the library. Oh, and patrons are required to register with their own library card to use computers so that the library can monitor which web sites you look at and what exactly you’re doing on their computer.

    Security guards watch you enter and exit, and if you try to enter through the exit door you’ll practically get arrested! That library’s also starting to charge patrons a fee to take out certain books–no lie! And if you voice a complaint about it to a librarian, one of the security guards will show up in an effort to intimidate you so that you learn quickly not to voice an opinion. Also if you stand outside the library’s entrance for a few minutes, a security guard will magically show up and start asking you questions. It’s creepy, to say the least. There’s not a huge problem with crime in Minneapolis. Most likely, some people want to discourage homeless people from using the library because it “looks bad.”

    You are being watched the entire time you are in that library and anything you say or do can and will be used against you. As far as I’m concerned, libraries have become like little prisons. I no longer feel comfortable using them.
    Thankfully, I have a computer and plenty of books to read at home (without being watched or censored by anyone.)

    So the ALA is concerned about privacy, eh? Whose privacy? Ours or theirs?

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