"A bank robber can use the road to get away but we still want to be able to drive on it."
This is Chuck Mc Andrew, IT Librarian at W.Lebanon, New Hampshire's Kilton Public Library http://ift.tt/1D9L3SW talking about one response from a member of his community at a Trustees' meeting.
The Chief Librarian and Board wanted to know how the people of Lebanon thought about using Tor ["The Onion Router- an anonymizing system for Internet traffic"], a search engine that hides the identity of the user, in their library.
This city of just over 13 thousand citizens, nestled in the mountains of the Upper Connecticut River Valley in the South West corner of N.H. is no slouch when it comes to standing up for hard won rights to free thought and speech in this Live Free Or Die state.
A large group of library users turned out to support the library's decision to use ToR. Despite the 'concerns ' expressed by local police and DHS directly to the library, the people think their right to secure searches on the Internet balance the risks of abuse by the few who use it for criminal purposes.
In America the principles upon which this country were founded are always under scrutiny and constantly at the center of conversations, public and private.