I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you haven’t cleared your browser history in a while, and then perform a Google or (insert your favourite search engine here) search, that a number of links are highlighted as pages you have been to before. This is just a friendly little reminder that you’ve asked the same, or a similar, question just recently and that, maybe, it is time for a screening for Alzheimer’s. But have you had a look through your browser history, or, more to the point, would you prefer no-one ever saw your browser history?
For the average person, I’m sure they don’t mind having eBay, Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes in your browser history is not a big deal. For the average crime or thriller author, the internet browser history would provide an interesting insight into the key plot points of the current work/s in progress. It would also encourage police and intelligence agencies to set up 24hr surveillance on the off chance the author was planning on murdering a key political figure to facilitate the buying of nuclear weapons to arm a terrorist cell that has ties to local organised crime figures who operate in drugs and prostitution; with plenty of pictures. This is slightly concerning.
Sci-fi authors don’t have quite as many concerns with their browser history. Anyone looking at it would fall asleep after the first ten pages of physics article links. Fantasy authors might receive some grief for the swords and leather searches. Romance authors would probably blush at the size of the list of “hard abs” pages. But it is going to be almost impossible for me to argue down a murder charge.
Lawyer: So you deny planning and executing the murder of the cast of Jersey Shore?
Tyson Adams: Of course I didn’t murder or plan to murder those morons.
L: Then why had you visited so many sites on forensics, samurai swords and human anatomy?
TA: Research for my book.
L: A book that you haven’t as yet published.
TA: Well the editor doesn’t like the scene with the cast of Boston Shore being beheaded.
Judge: I just don’t see the crime here. Although, Mr Adams, what is rotten.com?
So could any law enforcement people please keep in mind writers are likely to have a bizarre web history, and that it was very important that I know how to make meth in my backyard. For my novel…