Library Big Brother

By: KAKE News
By: KAKE News

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Because of the war on terrorism, if you log onto the computer at the public library, Uncle Sam may be peeking over your shoulder. But why does the government care about your Internet use?

The Wichita Public Library is a place where many people come to use the computer.

But using the library computer privately may be a problem because wherever you are whatever you do under the Patriot Act, if you're suspicious, the government can check you out.

"The Patriot Act is less about terrorism then it is about giving federal law enforcement the tools they've wanted for a long time to pursue crimes of any type," said John Ellert with the Wichita Public Library.

As you can probably tell, those with the library don't agree with Uncle Sam reading over your shoulder.

So like many libraries across the country, Wichita branches have safeguards to protect their patrons.

By not keeping records of patron's use, the computer only keeps track of materials that are checked out. When they're returned, the record is destroyed, and the same thing happens with Internet use.

The library says federal law enforcement cannot come in and learn who is on a terminal at a given time. However, they can still track down some information electronically, and many people may find it a little unsettling.


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