Daily Archives: July 14, 2008

Obama’s surveillance vote spurs blogging backlash

Sen. Barack Obama said he voted for the surveillance bill because it will help protect the nation.

Sen. Obama votes for surveillance bill he previously opposed

Bill gives firms ability to get immunity for cooperating with warrantless wiretapping

Liberal blogs call Obama’s vote a “sellout” and “disheartening”
CNN | Jul 13, 2008

By Scott J. Anderson

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama’s vote for a federal surveillance law that he had previously opposed has sparked a backlash from his online advocates, who had energized his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In October, Obama had vowed to help filibuster an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that gave telecommunication companies that had cooperated with President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program immunity from lawsuits.

After 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without the mandated warrant from a federal court, on electronic communication involving terrorist suspects.

Critics said Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Program was a violation of civil liberties.

The Senate voted Wednesday on the bill updating FISA — which had a provision to shield telecommunications companies that had cooperated in the surveillance. Obama joined the 68 other senators who voted to send the bill to the president’s desk.

Obama did vote for an amendment offered before the final vote by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, that would have stripped the immunity provisions from the bill, but the amendment failed.

Bush signed the bill into law on Thursday, saying the bill “will help us meet our most solemn responsibility: to stop another attack.”

The bill does not grant the telecommunication companies direct immunity, but it does contain a provision that allows a federal judge to dismiss the suits if the companies can present a letter from the government stating that the program was legal.

Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, testified before Congress that all the companies received such letters.

The bill also allows any warrantless wiretapping program to be reviewed by a secret federal intelligence court; requires a spy agency to purge any intelligence involving an American unless it gets a court warrant; and, for the first time, requires intelligence officials to get a court warrant if they wish to target an American living abroad. Read what’s in the FISA bill

When pressed to explain his change in position by an angry questioner Thursday, Obama defended his vote, saying he opposed the immunity for the companies but ultimately voted for the bill because he felt that the revisions to the intelligence law were necessary to protect the nation’s security.

“The surveillance program is actually one that I believe is necessary for our national security,” Obama told the questioner. “So I had to balance or weigh voting against a program that I think that we need — and that had been created so that your privacies were protected — or create a situation in which we didn’t have the program in place.”

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former Democratic presidential candidate and an Obama supporter, said Friday that the improvements to the bill allowed Obama to change his position.

“What changed is that the bill got better and more acceptable to Sen. Obama — the judicial oversight, the fact that the president can’t unilaterally say he’s going to eavesdrop on citizens,” Richardson said. “There are a lot of safeguards in the bill that weren’t there before.

“Now, again, the telecoms — I personally think they shouldn’t have immunity. But, you know, Sen. Obama had to make that decision,” Richardson said. “We do have to protect ourselves against terrorists, but I understand there’s some in the base that are concerned.”

Many of the liberal blogs who touted the Illinois Democrat early on have blasted Obama for changing his position.

One post on the blog DailyKos.com called Obama’s decision to vote for the bill a “sellout” and a “tactical blunder.” iReport.com: Was Obama’s vote a “sellout”?

And on “getfisaright.com,” a self-described group of 23,000 Obama supporters has posted an open letter to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, saying,”It is disheartening that you decided to support this bill, which does immense damage to the rule of law and our most fundamental democratic institutions.

“Even though we are disappointed, most of us continue to support you as a candidate,” the group wrote. “But as a candidate you have work to do repairing our trust in you and in government.”

But Richardson said the choice Obama made is just one of difficult decisions a senator — and a president — must make.

“There are enough safeguards in the bill and Sen. Obama said he’ll review the bill again, see how it’s working when he’s president,” Richardson said.

“So these are some of the political realities you face when you’re running for president, when you’re also in the Senate and you have to make a judgment on a bill.”

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early (Onion News)

Bio-lab power outage sparks pandemic fears

The outage affected air flow systems in labs that help contain such germs as the H5N1 flu virus, which some experts fear could cause a pandemic.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 12, 2008

CDC lab containing deadly virus suffers power outage

By ALISON YOUNG

A laboratory building that contains a deadly strain of avian flu and other germs is among four that lost power for more than an hour Friday when a backup generator system failed again at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outage affected air flow systems in labs that help contain such germs as the H5N1 flu virus, which some experts fear could cause a pandemic. But there were no exposures to infectious agents, and neither workers nor the public were at any risk, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

The outage is the latest in a string of mechanical and construction incidents at labs on the agency’s Clifton Road campus ‚Äî many in new buildings that are part of a $1 billion construction plan.

Last summer, an hour-long power outage at a different CDC lab tower, called Building 18, resulted in a congressional hearing. The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, is still examining safety at CDC’s high-containment laboratories and concerns raised years ago by agency engineers that CDC’s backup power system was likely to fail.

“It’s important for people to understand that even though we lose power to these facilities from time to time, worker safety and the public’s safety is not in jeopardy because multiple, redundant systems are in place, separate from those that rely on power,” Skinner said Saturday.

Around 5:40 p.m. Friday, a Georgia Power transformer failed, cutting off electricity to part of the CDC campus. CDC’s backup generators initially came on, Skinner said. But then the system detected some sort of power anomaly and shut itself off, cutting off backup power to three buildings, he said.

The buildings affected were:

– Building 17, a newer infectious disease research lab building, where scientists work with rabies, HIV, influenza and tuberculosis, including extensively drug-resistant strains. The building has Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) labs, which need electricity to maintain negative airflow. This key safeguard helps contain germs by making sure air is always being drawn into the lab and through special HEPA filters before leaving the building. When power is lost, the lab has neutral air that neither flows in or out.

– Building 20, a newer office building that also houses the agency’s fitness center.

– Building 1 and Building 3, antiquated attached office buildings from about 1959.

Information about whether any labs were in use at the time of the outage was not immediately available Saturday, Skinner said.

“This happened late in the day and there were not many employees still in the buildings,” Skinner said. “Those in the buildings evacuated without incident.”

The power was out for about 1 hour 15 minutes, Skinner said, and was restored when Georgia Power fixed the transformer problem.

A bird caused the blown Georgia Power transformer, said power company spokesman Jeff Wilson.

CDC officials did not attempt to override and restart the agency’s backup generators because they didn’t know what the anomaly was that shut them down, Skinner said.

Skinner also said there was no power disruption at Building 18, the $214 million Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory that suffered the hour-long outage last summer.

The AJC reported last summer that government construction engineers had warned since 2001 that CDC’s planned design for its centralized backup power generation system would not keep crucial lab systems from failing in an outage.

“I’ve been saying this for over three years now, but having the generators in this configuration gives us no protection whatsoever from many types of failures,” CDC mechanical engineer Johnnie West wrote in an August 2003 e-mail to agency officials, one of several reviewed by the AJC.

CDC officials have said that despite West’s concerns, the consensus of experts was that a centralized generator farm was better than having individual units at buildings.

Skinner emphasized that the CDC has many other physical barriers to contain germs that don’t require electricity. They include safety cabinets and layers of rooms, filters and corridors between the germs and the outdoors.

“I think people need to know we’re talking about an enormous campus with complex systems, and we’re never going to be able to fully eliminate power outages,” Skinner said. “That’s impossible. The key for us is to minimize the duration of the outage.”

‘Science fiction like’ weapons on tap for political conventions

The types of weapons being purchased are “top secret.”

Raw Story | Jul 7, 2008

By David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster

The political parties are arming themselves, in preparation for their respective conventions.

Congress has approved $100 million to pay for security expenses at this summer’s presidential nominating conventions, with $50 million dedicated to each party.

CNN’s Ed Lavendera reports that Denver and St. Paul officials have said that the types of weapons being purchased are “top secret.”

Apart from the traditional pepper spray and rubber bullets employed by police for controlling large protests, Denver, Colorado and St. Paul, Minnesota officials may be spending large sums on weapons CNN calls ‘science fiction like’.

Weapons such as the sonic ray gun, which emits a head-splitting frequency and deafens large groups of people. Also rumored for the conventions is the goo gun — which shoots a gel that can coat and wrap people whole, or stop a moving vehicle in its path — and a microwave pulse emitter — a radio frequency device that makes one’s skin feel it is on fire, previously deployed in the streets of Baghdad, Iraq.

The ACLU is suing both cities to disclose how security money is being spent, with hopes as to determine what specific weapons may be deployed against Americans. However, officials say it is important they be secretive about the technologies employed by their security forces, lest the crowds which will inevitably surround the conventions gain the upper hand.

Full Story

Big Brother Google photographs millions of British homes

The Google Earth spy car takes images of individual streets for inclusion on the StreetView website

Daily Mail | Jul 11, 2008

Big Brother: The Google cars that will photograph EVERY front door in Britain

By  David Derbyshire and Arthur Martin

Plans by Google to photograph millions of British homes and publish them online have been condemned as a ‘gross invasion of privacy’.

The internet giant’s StreetView website will allow anyone in the world to type in a UK address or postcode and instantly see a 360-degree picture of the street.

It will include close-ups of buildings, cars and people. Critics say the site is a ‘burglar’s charter’ that makes it easy for criminals to check out potential victims.

The pictures also show people leaving and entering hospitals, health clinics, adult shops and hotels. Although their faces are deliberately blurred, many could still be recognised by their clothing and hair colour.

The site was launched in major American cities last year.

Google has confirmed it is now in the process of photographing Britain as part of the Street View project.

Cars emblazoned with the company’s logo and carrying massive 360-degree cameras have been spotted circling the streets of British cities in recent weeks.

The data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s office, is so concerned about StreetView that it has written to Google demanding privacy guarantees.

A Google spokeswoman said: ‘Google works hard to make sure that our products respect both users’ expectations of privacy, and local privacy laws, in each country in which they are launched. Google Maps Street View is no exception.’

StreetView is designed to complement Google Earth, a collection of satellite pictures that covers every square mile of the globe.

Google Earth has come under fire for the level of detail in its overhead pictures, which have become enormously popular.

The pictures don’t just show which homes have swimming pools or tennis courts, they can reveal the model and colour of cars, whether gardens have furniture and even sunbathers lying outside.

12 Babies killed during vaccine trials

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are pressured and forced into signing consent forms

TradingMarkets.com | Jul 10, 2008

Buenos Aires — At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are “pressured and forced into signing consent forms,” the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

“This occurs without any type of state control” and “does not comply with minimum ethical requirements,” Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Colombian and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria.

Since 2007, 15,000 children under the age of one from the Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve.

“Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria,” pediatrician Enrique Smith, one of the lead investigators, said.

In Santiago del Estero, one of the country’s poorest provinces, the trials were authorized when Enrique’s brother, Juan Carlos Smith, was provincial health minister.

According to pediatrician Ana Maria Marchese, who works at the children’s hospital in the provincial capital where the studies are being conducted, “because they can’t experiment in Europe or the United States, they come to do it in third-world countries.”

“A lot of people want to leave the protocol but aren’t allowed; they force them to continue under the threat that if they leave they won’t receive any other vaccine,” said Julieta Ovejero, great aunt of one of the six babies who died in Santiago del Estero.

Fesprosa’s Juan Carlos Palomares said that “in most cases these are underprivileged individuals, many of them unable to read or write, who are pressured into including their children” in the trials.

According to Fesprosa, “the laboratory pays $8,000 for each child included in the study, but none (of that money) remains in the province that lends the public facilities and the health personnel for the private research.”

UK pays $5.5M for deaths and abuse of Iraqis

Musa — a 26-year-old hotel receptionist — suffered asphyxiation and had more than 90 injuries in his body.

CNN | Jul 11, 2008

LONDON, England (CNN) — The UK Ministry of Defence confirmed Thursday that it has agreed to pay £2.83 million ($5.58 million) to the family of an Iraqi who died while being detained by UK troops and several other men who were mistreated.

During mediation efforts to agree the compensation figure, the British deputy commander of coalition forces in Iraq, Gen. Freddy Viggers said: “The British Army apologize for the appalling treatment that you suffered at the hands of the British Army. The appalling behavior of British soldiers made us feel disgusted.”

The compensation will be paid to Musa’s children and the eight survivors for “pain and suffering” caused by British soldiers, according to a news release from the Iraqis’ lawyers.

Martyn Day, who represented the claimants, said: “Our clients have been through hell over the last few years and this settlement will go some way to enabling our clients to have some semblance of a decent future life.”

Musa and eight of the nine men — all Iraqi civilians — were arrested and taken into custody by British soldiers in September 2003. The other man, who later died, was detained in a separate incident, the law firm said.

An examination after he died in Basra showed that Musa — a 26-year-old hotel receptionist — suffered asphyxiation and had more than 90 injuries in his body.

British authorities announced in May it would launch an inquiry into his death. Defense minister Des Browne said the inquiry “is the right thing to do.”

“It will reassure the public that we are leaving no stone unturned in investigating his tragic death,” he said at the time. “The Army has nothing to hide in this respect and is keen to learn all the lessons it can from this terrible incident.”

A defense ministry spokesperson pointed out that most of the British troops in Iraq “have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behavior, displaying integrity and selfless commitment.”

“But this does not excuse that during 2003 and 2004 a very small minority there committed acts of abuse and we condemn their actions,” the spokesperson said.

“It is right that compensation has been agreed through mediation. The Army has done a great deal since these cases to improve procedures and training. But we are not complacent and continue to demand the very highest standards of conduct from all our troops.”

The other eight men who will be compensated by the ministry are Ahmed Taha Mosah, Mohammed Ameen Challab Al-Waz, and six others whose identities were ordered withheld by the High Court.

Orphans’ bodies incinerated after sexual abuse and murder

Children at a Jersey care home were sexually assaulted, murdered and their bodies burned, a report summarising evidence of the abuse is expected to say.


Related: Kids loaned out for elite pedophile rape cruises

Independent | Jul 13, 2008

Jersey care home abuse police believe children’s bodies were burned

By Aislinn Simpson

Forensic scientists searching the cellars have uncovered 65 milk teeth and up to 100 pieces of bone that appear to have been burned

Detectives searching Haut de la Garenne are said to now have “compelling evidence” that children’s remains were thrown into a furnace to ensure the abuse did not come to light.

It is claimed that the charred remains of the victims were then swept into the soil floors of four cellars under the house, where they lay undiscovered for decades.

Forensic scientists searching the cellars, where victims have told them they were taken to be abused, have already uncovered 65 milk teeth and up to 100 pieces of bone that they say appear to have been burned. The bones include a piece of child’s tibia and several fragments identified as the bones of a child aged under 11.

An intact adenoid bone, from the ear of a child, has also been found, it has been reported.

Police are also examining strands of nylon recovered from the cellars, which they believe came from the head of a broom only used in the 1960s and 70s.

If confirmed, this would add weight to the theory that the burned human remains were concealed in the cellars at around the same time.

In the same “torture chambers”, police also found a stone bath, blood specks, a pair of shackles and chilling graffiti reading “IV BEEN BAD 4 YEARS & YEARS”. Deputy Chief Officer Lenny Harper said the bones gave further weight to the theory that murder was committed at the home, and that since bones were found in ash near an old fireplace, the bodies were probably burned.

“There is no doubt that a child or children lie buried in that cellar,” he added.

This week, a police source went further, saying: “There’s no doubt in the minds of the detectives on this case that children were murdered in the home.

“Officers believe they have compelling evidence that bodies were burnt in the home’s furnace then the remains swept into the soil floor in the cellars.”

But the source added that it had been a struggle to identify which children had gone missing from the home as there were no records kept of who came and went. “Kids were shipped to the home from all over the UK and were never heard of again,” he said.

“All the inquiry team have to go on is this grim collection of teeth and bone fragments and no names to match up to the remains.”

It is understood that a file containing all of the evidence gathered so far by the investigation – one of the biggest in the UK’s history – has been compiled as retiring DCO Harper prepares to hand over the case to his successor, David Warcup, the current Deputy Chief Constable of Northumbria.

A list of 40 suspects – including 18 priority suspects – believed to be involved in the abuse of up to 100 victims over 40 years on Jersey has been drawn up and three men including a former warden of the home have been charged with sex offences.

Although the search of the massive site of Haut de la Garenne which began in February has now been all but completed, police are continuing to trawl a nearby Second World War bunker for evidence after six witnesses came forward to say they were abused there as well.

Secretive Bohemian Club convenes at the mysterious “Grove”

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

– Black Sabbath: War Pigs

___

High priests gather around the sacrificial altar

Related: Bush, McCain & Obama To Visit Bohemian Grove?

PRESS DEMOCRAT | Jul 11, 2008

Bohemian Club convenes tonight in Monte Rio

By MARY CALLAHAN

Some of the nation’s most powerful men are gathering for the annual two-week encampment at the Bohemian Grove, which opens tonight.

The super-secret Bohemian Club and its all-male entourage meets each summer in the 2,700-acre Monte Rio grove for what they describe as fellowship and good-natured high jinks — a break from the grueling grind of leadership.

Critics, who in years past have mounted protests outside the club’s gates, say the gatherings serve as strategy sessions for barons of business and politics operating outside democratic institutions.

The Bohemian Club did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Founded in 1872 by five San Francisco men seeking to connect “gentlemen” with art, literature, music and drama, the club’s invitation list has included a variety of political, financial, military and industrial leaders.

Among them: Presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and both Bushes; former Cabinet members Colin Powell, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger; and industrialists Stephen David Bechtel, Leonard Firestone and David Rockefeller.

Most critics object to the notion of national policy with global implications being discussed behind the gates of an exclusive, closed-door gathering of largely conservative, wealthy white men.

This year’s encampment runs through July 27. The traditional Cremation of Care ritual, in which a human effigy representing “dull care” is burned beneath a massive form said to represent the club’s owl mascot, will be Saturday night.

Private jet traffic already has picked up at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, said Glenn Barrett, general manager of KaiserAir Santa Rosa Jet Center.

Barrett, who is new to the center, said, “My understanding is that basically these three weeks are pretty much the busiest three weeks of the year.”

43 nations creating Mediterranean union

President Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured in this file photo with George Bush) urged nations around the Mediterranean to “learn to love one another”

AP | Jul 13, 2008

By ANGELA CHARLTON

PARIS (AP) — More than 40 nations home to 800 million people were set Sunday to join in a Union for the Mediterranean, a vast though vague body its boosters hope can nudge this disparate and conflicted swath of the world toward peace and stability.

Israeli, Syrian and Palestinian leaders were among those attending an unprecedented gathering on the River Seine in Paris. Coping with age-old enmities involving their peoples and others along the Mediterranean shores will be a central challenge to the new union.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged nations around the Mediterranean to “learn to love one another rather than to continue to hate each other and wage war.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: “We are closer than ever to a possible (peace) agreement today” with the Palestinians — and said he hoped for direct contacts “soon” with enemy Syria.

France’s foreign minister urged the countries to unite to deal with global warming, growing migration and shrinking water and energy resources.

“To do nothing would be a risk. We are fragile. Our world is fragile. Latent tensions and growing disparities are too dangerous for this unstable epoch. We have everything to gain by reinforcing our ties,” Bernard Kouchner said to fellow foreign ministers from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The ministers were meeting in the grandiose Grand Palais abutting the Seine River. Later Sunday, presidents or prime ministers of 43 countries meet at a summit hosted by Sarkozy and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Union for the Mediterranean is Sarkozy’s brainchild, originally devised as a pillar of his presidency and of France’s leadership of the European Union. France holds the rotating EU post until the end of this year.

But Sarkozy’s ambitious plan overlapped with European Union projects already in progress, and it was melded into EU efforts and expanded to include 27 members of the European Union, not just those on the Mediterranean coast.

Sunday’s meeting was seen as more significant for the bodies gathered — the Israeli and Syrian leaders, for example, have never before sat at the same table — than for any immediate progress it is expected to achieve.

A draft declaration obtained by The Associated Press shows that summit participants will announce “objectives of achieving peace, stability and security” in the region. But the few firm measures are things such as a region-wide solar energy project, a cross-Mediterranean student exchange program and a plan to clean up the polluted sea.

On Saturday, Sarkozy played super-envoy, securing a preliminary agreement between the Syrian and Lebanese presidents that they would open embassies in each others’ countries for the first time.

Tensions between Lebanon and Syria, which dominated its smaller neighbor for decades, are one of the thorns in Mediterranean unity.

Sarkozy made the unusual step of reaching out to Syria, a nation often accused of sponsoring terrorism and undermining regional unity, in an effort to bring it back into the international fold ahead of Sunday’s summit.

“How can we make peace if we don’t speak with” everyone, Sarkozy asked alongside the Israeli and Palestinian leaders Sunday morning.

Sarkozy asked Syrian President Bashar Assad for help in easing the international standoff with Iran over its nuclear program. Assad asked France to contribute efforts toward a peace deal between Syria and Israel.

Assad appeared to throw cold water on speculation of a possible one-on-one meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at this weekend’s summit. Assad said indirect Israeli-Syrian talks mediated by Turkey could turn into full-fledged direct negotiations — but suggested little progress was likely before the United States elects a new president.

On Sunday morning, Sarkozy met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had shown reticence about coming to the summit. The leadership of the mostly Muslim country fears that the Mediterranean grouping is designed to keep Turkey out of the full EU membership that it seeks.

The Mediterranean gathering will be capped Monday with more than dozen leaders attending France’s national Bastille Day military parade as special guests.

The new union is to include at least 43 nations, all of which are sending a president or prime minister to the summit. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi objected to the whole idea and refused to come.

Google could gain a near monopoly on human knowledge

Could Google Monopolize Human Knowledge?

As Microsoft Backs Away From Digitizing Old Texts, Some Worry One Source Could Privatize It All

ABC News | Jul 12, 2008

By GREGORY M. LAMB

Should a single company be left in charge of putting all of the world’s books online?

An impressive list of world-class libraries and book publishers don’t seem to mind.

In 2004, they signed on as partners with Google, the Internet search and advertising colossus based in Mountain View, Calif.

Yet some observers have strong concerns about Google Book Search and how the collected thinking of human history will be accessed in the future.

Those anxieties rose late last month when Microsoft announced that it was withdrawing from a rival book-scanning project headed by the nonprofit Internet Archive (archive.org).

About 750,000 books and 80 million journal articles scanned by Microsoft were removed from its servers, but many remain accessible elsewhere, including on servers maintained by the Internet Archive, which has about 440,000 books online.

Microsoft, which said it still intends to give publishers digital copies of their scanned books, may have made a rational business decision from its perspective.

But the sudden shift also showed how vulnerable a digitizing project is when it relies on a for-profit company, says Brewster Kahle, executive director of the Internet Archive. Nothing would stop Google from also suddenly shutting down its online book effort or limiting access to it, he says.

If money gets tight, “there’s a meeting behind closed doors, and there’s a notice put on the Web site that it’s shut down,” he says. “That’s what happens.”

Internet access to books is becoming more important, some observers say, as portable book readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle, become more common and as more people expect to find all their reading needs online.

“I wouldn’t say Google is 100 percent of the digital book world, but it’s getting near 90 percent,” says Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar at the University of Virginia, who writes a blog called “The Googlization of Everything.”

Internet Archive has funds to scan 1,000 books per day through the end of the year, Kahle says, including those at the Library of Congress. He’s exploring new partnerships that would allow the project to continue into 2009 and beyond.