Monday, March 06, 2006

The blogger and the all-seeing eye

Think it can't happen to you, ma cherie? I mean, who would want to examine the phone records of little old you -- you're just a regular Jane who graces the occassional Web site with the occasional rant, right?

Welcome to the 21st Century, where the U.S. Constitution appears to be breathing its last. Remember all that scary talk about how, under the Patriot Act, the FBI could demand that libraries and publishers turn over files on the reading and writing habits of selected targets? Now comes word that bloggers -- well, at least one blogger -- are the targets. Doug Thompson, founder of Capitol Hill Blue, which claims to be the oldest news site on the internet, says that, in his capacity as the proprietor of his own Web-hosting company, he received a National Security Letter from the FBI, demanding that he turn over records concerning traffic on his blog. This means that they're not just looking at Thompson himself; they're looking to track who's reading him.

Which has your blogstress wondering if the good folks at her Web-hosting company have received similar love-notes concerning your cybertrix.

Thompson is a mighty brave fellow to reveal his receipt of his National Security Letter. The Patriot Act demand that he not reveal it to anyone, and there's currently a case before the federal courts concerning a librarian who is challenging the terms of the National Security Letter that he or she received.

Your Webwench urges her readers to support Thompson in any way you can. Perhaps we all need to move our sites to his server.

To read Thompson riffing on his National Security Letter, click here.

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