Although “think different” was Apple’s advertising slogan for many years, it seems some Apple Stores have their own ideas about what should constitute the limits of acceptable thought. British blogger Yusuf Smith describes what happened to him after checking his blog comments at a local Apple Store:
Kingston has an Apple Store, which like other such shops, has a room full of Macs which offer free internet access. When I’m near an Apple Store, I always go in to check my email and my blog, so as to approve any legitimate comments and delete any spam. Others go in for similar email-related purposes and to engage in long chats over various chat systems in various languages. The staff must know me: I go in there often, visit the same websites, stay about 15 minutes (less than I do in Regent Street, because Kingston is near my home and I’ve no need to stay an hour) and go.
Today, as I was closing up (and leaving my blog open, to drum up a bit of publicity), two policemen came up to me and asked me if I’d come out for a chat. They told me that someone had raised concerns about me, that they were there for anti-terrorism purposes, that there was concern about people accessing extremist websites which they were sure I could understand in the current climate. They asked for ID, which I duly provided, and asked me if they knew me, to which I replied that they might, as a few years ago I had complained (to the local MP, who I believe also raised it with the local Safer Neighbourhood scheme) about idiots on mopeds using a nearby subway as a cut-through and about youths loitering in there which does not really give much of a sense of assurance. We had a bit of a talk about what I do on my website, what a blog is (he had never heard of them) and the fact that I used their machines to approve legitimate comments, so as not to hold up discussion, and get rid of spam. The other cop talked to his colleagues over his radio and gathered that I was not under any suspicion, and eventually I was let go.