Today we have a story that triples down on the irony.
The FBI recently announced that they had uncovered a terrorist plot to build explosive devices in New York City. But the more you look into it, the more it looks like a couple of stupid kids who had little or no chance of actually doing anything until an undercover FBI informant arrived to “help” them with their plans.
But that didn’t stop Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from responding that this shows that we should ban the book “The Anarchist Cookbook” from the internet (because they had a copy).
Yes, you can download a book from the Internet that has instructions for building bombs. But that’s not the only place you can get it. You can buy it at many bookstores, including Amazon. And the book was originally written using information available in any library. Removing The Anarchist Cookbook from the internet would not only not stop people from getting this kind of information, it would violate the First Amendment (according to the US Department of Justice, banning it would likely be unconstitutional).
Censoring the internet is not something that should be considered litely. We are dismayed when countries like China try to censor the internet.
Just to bring this story full circle, it turns out that it was the FBI informant who told the two would-be terrorists about The Anarchist Cookbook and downloaded it for them. The criminal complaint against them even has them thanking the undercover agent for introducing the book to them. In other words, neither of them downloaded anything from the internet, the government conveniently did it for them. And for this we should censor the internet?