Despite a federal subpoena, Amazon refused to disclose the identities of 24,000 used book purchasers as demanded by federal prosecutors in an income tax evasion investigation of a used book seller. Think about it. Big Brother wants to know what your reading habits are and used a tax case to attempt to shred the First Amendment.
It gets worse. Even though the subpoena was withdrawn, the reason for the withdrawal is that the government found the client information it needed on the seller’s computer. This means that if you bought from that seller a used book, the government knows what you bought even though it has absolutely nothing to do with tax fraud.
I’m not condoning tax evasion. That’s not the point.
The line has been crossed in e-commerce. If the government can seize records to identify your online book purchases, what not other purchases too? Say goodbye to personal privacy.