"Orwellian" Federal Prosecutors Back Off From Getting Lists of Puchasers of Amazon Used Books
Submitted by Kelly on November 28, 2007 - 3:46pm
The Feds just can't seem to repress their curiosity of what books people are reading - now (or up until recently) they're going after bookstores. "Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), newly unsealed court records show. The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a First Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government. "The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America," U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker wrote in a June ruling. "Well-founded or not, rumors of an Orwellian federal criminal investigation into the reading habits of Amazon's customers could frighten countless potential customers into canceling planned online book purchases," the judge wrote in a ruling he unsealed last week." Rest of this article <a href="http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071127/D8T68B4O1.html">here</a>.