Privacy Issues for Whom?

I’m amazed at the constipated stupidity of many librarians who believe that privacy issues are more important than national security or the protection of children or the support of laws against child pornography.  Blame it on the extremist positions of the American Library Association, which I have long viewed as a family and values unfriendly bully group.

Case in point:  a recent news report of a librarian who called the police because a fellow was a repeat offender in the library, downloading kiddie porn – a Federal offense.  The first time it happened, the news report tells us that the supervisor told this librarian not to report it.  When she saw him a second time, she called the police.  This heroine was fired.  Why?  Privacy issues!  What??  There is no presumption of privacy in a PUBLIC library – especially when one is breaking a Federal law.

All of which makes it even more weird that Sprint Nextel Corporation has signed up hundreds of thousands of customers for a feature that shows them where their friends are with colored marks on a map viewable on their cellphone screens.  Basically, people would know, all day long, exactly where you are…right down to a restroom or a street corner.

All the folks who use the social-networking websites don’t seem to mind losing their privacy.  So when a librarian protects the children in the library by ridding it of a prospective child molester – who is the bad guy and who is worried about what privacy?