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`1984′: Amazon Sales of Orwell Book Way Up

12 Jun

Bloomberg
Sales of George Orwell’s novel “1984,” featuring a futuristic totalitarian state, jumped onAmazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s website following reports of a classified program that lets the U.S. government collect personal data.
Actor Lorne Green in “1984.” Photograph: CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
June 11 (Bloomberg) — Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey discusses the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance program and Edward Snowden, the former Central Intelligence Agency worker who exposed it. Mukasey, now a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, speaks with Bloomberg’s Sara Eisen and Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)
One edition of the book, which was originally published in 1949, moved to the No. 3 spot on Amazon’s Movers & Shakers list, which tracks dramatic increases in sales volume over a 24-hour period. That made it the 100th-best-selling book on the site late yesterday, an increase from its previous rank of 11,855.
The sales gains come after the revelation of a top-secret electronic-surveillance program that allows the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access data from audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs from the biggest U.S. Internet companies. The Washington Post and the U.K.-based Guardian reported the program’s existence last week.
Orwell’s novel portrays a dystopian society where individuals are monitored through ubiquitous television screens and overseen by a leader called Big Brother.
Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) has seen a “significant spike in sales recently as government surveillance and Orwell have been paired in the news,” even though the book is consistently a top seller, said Patricia Bostelman, vice president of marketing at the bookseller.
The U.S. government program, code-named PRISM, traces its roots to warrantless domestic-surveillance efforts under former President George W. Bush. The companies include Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Facebook Inc (FB)., Apple Inc. and Yahoo! Inc., the Post report said, citing a slide presentation.