Over at Slate.com, Farhad Manjoo writes about Amazon's demonstrated ability to delete books from users' Kindle digital book holding thingies. The company reportedly went into people's Kindles, without permission, and removed the book files.
Now, if they were deleting the book files of everyone who bought a copy of Glenn Beck's Commons Sense or The Secret, then no one would really complain and, in fact, they'd be doing the world a service. But they were deleting books by George Orwell and Ayn Rand.
"The worst thing about this story isn't Amazon's conduct; it's the company's technical capabilities," Manjoo writes. Whether or not Amazon promises not to do it again, the point is that the company can; I think, with the various security and protocol breaches that take place all across the internet on a daily basis, you should figure that if Amazon doesn't do it to your hand-held electronic fake book, someone else will, sooner or later. The Justice Department, your prospective employer, any of a number of crackpot groups, publishers, your parents, your kids, that annoying person you dissed at the coffee shop. Whoever. It'll happen.
Maybe it's time to invest in a hard copy paper version of every "book" you put on Kindle. It's the only way to make sure you have it forever. (Until you lose it in a flood, of course ...)