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(Huffington Post)   SCOTUS admits, sadly, that they're probably gonna have to decide just how constitutional your right to privacy really is   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 109
    More: Interesting, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court, NSA, Ginsberg, Edward Snowden, National Press, constitutions  
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3185 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Apr 2014 at 9:49 AM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-18 11:15:06 AM  

Headso: Obscure Login: Headso: They were responding to questions posed by journalist Marvin Kalb about whether the court would take up cases arising from the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance, most notably by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Democratic party apologists have claimed everyone knew about the surveillance for a decade and Snowden had nothing to add.

If you were really surprised about what Snowden had revealed, then you weren't paying attention for the last decade.

If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.


Show me where I said he didn't start a dialogue.

He absolutely started a dialogue, but if you are surprised by what he said, you haven't been paying attention.
 
2014-04-18 11:18:31 AM  

Linux_Yes: in 'murica, deciding What is Constitutional or not is whatever Big Business/the Richest 2% decide it is.  (seeing as how they own the surpreme court)

what the Sheeple think is irrelevant.


and they'll call that Democracy.  and the Sheeple will believe it.


If only we all moved over to Linux, the world would be ok.
 
2014-04-18 11:21:56 AM  

Obscure Login: Headso: Obscure Login: Headso: They were responding to questions posed by journalist Marvin Kalb about whether the court would take up cases arising from the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance, most notably by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Democratic party apologists have claimed everyone knew about the surveillance for a decade and Snowden had nothing to add.

If you were really surprised about what Snowden had revealed, then you weren't paying attention for the last decade.

If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.

Show me where I said he didn't start a dialogue.

He absolutely started a dialogue, but if you are surprised by what he said, you haven't been paying attention.


So then he committed no real crime and should be able to come home a free man?

You're a revisionist.  There were people saying the government could and was spying on us the way the NSA is, but you would be the Weeners pictures of tin foil hats when you saw them.
 
2014-04-18 11:30:56 AM  

Nemo's Brother: Obscure Login: Headso: Obscure Login: Headso: They were responding to questions posed by journalist Marvin Kalb about whether the court would take up cases arising from the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance, most notably by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Democratic party apologists have claimed everyone knew about the surveillance for a decade and Snowden had nothing to add.

If you were really surprised about what Snowden had revealed, then you weren't paying attention for the last decade.

If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.

Show me where I said he didn't start a dialogue.

He absolutely started a dialogue, but if you are surprised by what he said, you haven't been paying attention.

So then he committed no real crime and should be able to come home a free man?

You're a revisionist.  There were people saying the government could and was spying on us the way the NSA is, but you would be the Weeners pictures of tin foil hats when you saw them.


Man, I'm really saying a lot in my one or two sentence posts.
 
2014-04-18 11:33:19 AM  

Weaver95: oh that's easy - we don't HAVE a right to privacy.  this country has been not so quietly eroding the 4th and 5th amendments for quite some time now.  we should just man up and invalidate 'em.  at least then we'd be honest about the direction we've been taking for the past 40 odd years.  once we get rid of those two pesky amendments, then we can work on getting rid of the 1st and 2nd.  then everyone will be happy!  we'll all have the government and society we said we've wanted for years.


Just add guaranteed income, and you'd never hear another complaint.
 
2014-04-18 11:41:50 AM  
Hopefully the court will fully adopt the trespassory test.
 
2014-04-18 11:43:03 AM  
I like how the people biatching about Scalia in this thread are the least clued in on how he decides on these issues.
 
2014-04-18 11:50:20 AM  

Diogenes: Neither do "ethics" for that matter.


Nor "morals".
 
2014-04-18 11:53:28 AM  
Perhaps this handy flowchart will help (this is a first version):


img.fark.net
 
2014-04-18 11:56:10 AM  
Is this any different from those times when they ruled on just how much the government is allowed to infringe on my 2nd Amendment rights?
 
2014-04-18 12:01:22 PM  

bdub77: Perhaps this handy flowchart will help (this is a first version):


[img.fark.net image 850x471]


The only disagreement I have is that Scalia supports corporations slightly more than fascist bullshiat.  If the feds are being jackbooted against a corporation, for example, he's against it.
 
2014-04-18 12:10:08 PM  
Silly people.  American's rights to privacy went out the window a long time ago.  Big brother has been watching, and nobody seems to give a damn.
 
KIA
2014-04-18 12:17:19 PM  
Natural rights, biatches!

/ that is all
 
2014-04-18 12:20:54 PM  

bdub77: Why won't Scalia die already? I feel like there's this glut of assholes that haven't died. OK so you throw me a bone w/a Fred Phelps once in a while, but his crazy family lives on. Gah.


 ... because neither God nor Satan want him (them)...
 
2014-04-18 12:24:28 PM  

SunsetLament: Is this any different from those times when they ruled on just how much the government is allowed to infringe on my 2nd Amendment rights?


Well, they've probably got a better understanding of what guns are and how they operate than they do of what the internet is and how it operates. I'm sure the opinions will be entertaining to read.
 
2014-04-18 12:27:10 PM  

Jaymark108: I agree with the justices in the article.  They know very little about cutting edge technology and its vast implications, yet they are the ones making arbitrary decisions about whether or not vacuuming up enormous quantities of data on citizens not accused of a crime is reasonable.  I appreciate that they feel nervous about deciding it.


But when it comes right down to it, it has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with whether  it violates your rights. It's very simple. Don't over-complicate it. Either the government has the right to sniff your ass without reasonable suspicion, or it doesn't. In the past, it didn't.
 
2014-04-18 12:32:57 PM  
is that the same bought-off Supreme court that says corporations are people and money is free speech?

/yeah, bye bye miss America
 
2014-04-18 12:36:18 PM  

Linux_Yes: in 'murica, deciding What is Constitutional or not is whatever Big Business/the Richest 2% decide it is.  (seeing as how they own the surpreme court)

what the Sheeple think is irrelevant.


and they'll call that Democracy.  and the Sheeple will believe it.


Must I post this again?  Yep.  Because it's PURE TRUTH (despite coming from a scifi show).

i1168.photobucket.com

"The mega-corporations have been running things for years.  We just don't show ourselves because people wouldn't understand.  So we let them think they still have a voice."
-William Edgars, Babylon 5:  "The Exercise of Vital Powers"
 
2014-04-18 12:41:30 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Why does SCOTUS hate Obozo?


They're obviously racist.  It's the only plausible reason.
 
2014-04-18 12:43:13 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Jaymark108: I agree with the justices in the article.  They know very little about cutting edge technology and its vast implications, yet they are the ones making arbitrary decisions about whether or not vacuuming up enormous quantities of data on citizens not accused of a crime is reasonable.  I appreciate that they feel nervous about deciding it.

But when it comes right down to it, it has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with whether  it violates your rights. It's very simple. Don't over-complicate it. Either the government has the right to sniff your ass without reasonable suspicion, or it doesn't. In the past, it didn't.


Though you may have dealt it, you would no longer have exclusive rights under the smelt-it clause.
 
2014-04-18 12:49:03 PM  
People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.
 
2014-04-18 12:54:00 PM  

GhostFish: People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.


If only there was some high court that the power to review and invalidate laws passed pursuant to the power of the Legislature that ran afoul of the nation's supreme law regarding a person, their house, and all papers and effects.

Too bad.
 
2014-04-18 12:54:42 PM  

Weaver95: oh that's easy - we don't HAVE a right to privacy.  this country has been not so quietly eroding the 4th and 5th amendments for quite some time now.  we should just man up and invalidate 'em.  at least then we'd be honest about the direction we've been taking for the past 40 odd years.  once we get rid of those two pesky amendments, then we can work on getting rid of the 1st and 2nd.  then everyone will be happy!  we'll all have the government and society we said we've wanted for years.


I think you're being much too fatalistic here. I share many of your concerns about the skimpy force too many courts assign to certain fundamental rights, but it has always been thus. You mention the 4th Amendment - until the exclusionary rule came along in 1914, freedom from unreasonable searches was utterly unenforceable, and until it was incorporated on the states in 1961, it remained generally unenforceable. Coerced confessions were admissible as a matter of federal constitutional law until 1897. If you think living in the age of the PATRIOT Act sucks (and it does, to be sure), it's arguably better than living under any of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Representative government is kind of like marriage - it's not a goal, a thing you can master and then forget about; it's day-to-day work, and sometimes it sucks. The tension between liberty and order has always been and will always be a constant theme in our history. Each of us is called upon to fight the good fight in that conflict, regardless of which side we favor (and, for the record, I'm mostly on your side).
 
2014-04-18 12:55:53 PM  

Headso: If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.


"Start a dialogue" seems like a pretty low bar to be setting here. If all he wanted to do was "start a dialogue", he could have accomplished that without breaking the law (or without having ever worked at the NSA, for that matter).
 
2014-04-18 12:57:05 PM  

Dr Dreidel: If only there was some high court that the power to review and invalidate laws passed pursuant to the power of the Legislature that ran afoul of the nation's supreme law regarding a person, their house, and all papers and effects.

Too bad.


If only.
 
2014-04-18 12:59:57 PM  

vpb: Weaver95: oh that's easy - we don't HAVE a right to privacy.  this country has been not so quietly eroding the 4th and 5th amendments for quite some time now.  we should just man up and invalidate 'em.  at least then we'd be honest about the direction we've been taking for the past 40 odd years.  once we get rid of those two pesky amendments, then we can work on getting rid of the 1st and 2nd.  then everyone will be happy!  we'll all have the government and society we said we've wanted for years.

No, they just aren't absolute and unlimited.  They never were. they're just like any other right.


Less and less absolute and unlimited every day, depending on who pays for the government official this week.
 
2014-04-18 01:01:27 PM  

Dr Dreidel: GhostFish: People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.

If only there was some high court that the power to review and invalidate laws passed pursuant to the power of the Legislature that ran afoul of the nation's supreme law regarding a person, their house, and all papers and effects.

Too bad.


To do so the Court would have to overturn a whole shiatload of well-established precedent. Data which you have voluntarily revealed to a third party (e.g., the phone company's records of numbers you've dialed; video rental records) have been held outside the scope of the 4th Amendment for decades.
 
2014-04-18 01:02:48 PM  

Linux_Yes: in 'murica, deciding What is Constitutional or not is whatever Big Business/the Richest 2% decide it is.  (seeing as how they own the surpreme court)

what the Sheeple think is irrelevant.


and they'll call that Democracy.  and the Sheeple will believe it.


imgs.xkcd.com

\oblig
 
2014-04-18 01:05:25 PM  

chuggernaught: Silly people.  American's rights to privacy went out the window a long time ago.  Big brother has been watching, and nobody seems to give a damn.


I think a lot of people do give a damn.  Problem is they don't know what to do about it, or, those who have done something about it aren't advertising they've done something about it, because that would probably negate what they have done about it.
 
2014-04-18 01:12:51 PM  

Hydra: Xythero: Headso: Democratic party apologists Basement dwellers who watch too many spy movies have claimed everyone knew about the surveillance for a decade and Snowden had nothing to add.

No, he had it right the first time - or did you forget all those protests by leftists (who are deafeningly silent now) when it was a Republican administration doing the spying?


It's fun to just make shiat up like it's a fact, isn't it, douchebag? Seems to happen round here a LOT.

also, on another note:

"balancing the emergency against the intrusion" on the individual, he said" (Scalia)

Great. there is no emergency, that is completely manufactured, and the intrusion is prodigious.

/no brainer.
 
2014-04-18 01:18:56 PM  

Nemo's Brother: Obscure Login: Headso: Obscure Login: Headso: They were responding to questions posed by journalist Marvin Kalb about whether the court would take up cases arising from the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance, most notably by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Democratic party apologists have claimed everyone knew about the surveillance for a decade and Snowden had nothing to add.

If you were really surprised about what Snowden had revealed, then you weren't paying attention for the last decade.

If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.

Show me where I said he didn't start a dialogue.

He absolutely started a dialogue, but if you are surprised by what he said, you haven't been paying attention.


So then he committed no real crime and should be able to come home a free man?


No.

I would have a lot more sympathy for him had he limited his revelations to PRISM and other surveillance of US citizens, but he divulged details of foreign intelligence activities that fall well within the established scope of the agency's mission. I don't think that should be overlooked just because he got Headso to care about privacy rights.
 
2014-04-18 01:21:10 PM  
we 're screwed.
 
2014-04-18 01:29:46 PM  

BMulligan: Dr Dreidel: GhostFish: People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.

If only there was some high court that the power to review and invalidate laws passed pursuant to the power of the Legislature that ran afoul of the nation's supreme law regarding a person, their house, and all papers and effects.

Too bad.

To do so the Court would have to overturn a whole shiatload of well-established precedent. Data which you have voluntarily revealed to a third party (e.g., the phone company's records of numbers you've dialed; video rental records) have been held outside the scope of the 4th Amendment for decades.


Biological Ali: If only.


They don't HAVE to invalidate anything. SCOTUS has agreed to review the law(s) (so it seems), which means, theoretically, that they COULD invalidate those laws.

That they have in the past reviewed such laws only supports my point - OP suggested (or maybe I just inferred) that there is an inviolable difference between "your" information, and information "about" you*, and I sarcastically pointed out that the Courts are still empowered to review (and, if necessary, invalidate) any and all laws passed by the US Congress, whether they cover "my" information, information "about" me, or anything else.

* is it impossible the Court could find that certain identifying information - "PII", for lack of a better term - is protected by the 4th, and so any agency who trafficks in that sort of thing has to follow strict rules regarding collection, usage and, storage?
 
2014-04-18 01:29:58 PM  

mrEdude: is that the same bought-off Supreme court that says corporations are people and money is free speech?

/yeah, bye bye miss America


What do you think corporate personhood is?
 
2014-04-18 01:30:52 PM  
The genie isn't going back in the bottle.
 
2014-04-18 01:38:43 PM  

Dr Dreidel: BMulligan: Dr Dreidel: GhostFish: People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.

If only there was some high court that the power to review and invalidate laws passed pursuant to the power of the Legislature that ran afoul of the nation's supreme law regarding a person, their house, and all papers and effects.

Too bad.

To do so the Court would have to overturn a whole shiatload of well-established precedent. Data which you have voluntarily revealed to a third party (e.g., the phone company's records of numbers you've dialed; video rental records) have been held outside the scope of the 4th Amendment for decades.

Biological Ali: If only.

They don't HAVE to invalidate anything. SCOTUS has agreed to review the law(s) (so it seems), which means, theoretically, that they COULD invalidate those laws.

That they have in the past reviewed such laws only supports my point - OP suggested (or maybe I just inferred) that there is an inviolable difference between "your" information, and information "about" you*, and I sarcastically pointed out that the Courts are still empowered to review (and, if necessary, invalidate) any and all laws passed by the US Congress, whether they cover "my" information, information "about" me, or anything else.

* is it impossible the Court could find that certain identifying information - "PII", for lack of a better term - is protected by the 4th, and so any agency who trafficks in that sort of thing has to follow strict rules regarding collection, usage and, storage?


The Court can do just about anything the justices want to do, but to make up a whole new approach to a legal doctrine out of whole cloth, and reversing literally dozens of well known precedents - suffice it to say that such an outcome does not comport with most judges' comfort zone.
 
2014-04-18 01:52:03 PM  

Dr Dreidel: They don't HAVE to invalidate anything. SCOTUS has agreed to review the law(s) (so it seems), which means, theoretically, that they COULD invalidate those laws.


Sure, but in this case we're not talking about invalidating a law - we're talking about (as the link was intended to point out) overturning precedent set by a previous Supreme Court ruling. It could happen, but then again, they could overturn Roe v. Wade too. I doubt whether any of these cases will reach the Supreme Court to begin with so it's all probably moot anyway,

People who are upset about metadata collection would be better off accepting that it's not going to happen (and more broadly, disabusing themselves of the notion that there's any Constitutional issue to begin with), and focusing purely on petitioning Congress to change the relevant laws themselves.
 
2014-04-18 01:58:38 PM  

GhostFish: People need to prepare to be disappointed. As far as the law is concerned, there's a difference between your information and the information about you that belongs to a third party.


And as a former employee who worked under the auspices of a gov't program (everything I did is now *long* since obsolete and the program was shut down in the 90s) I can say that just collecting certain types of information isn't necessarily illegal....the letter of the law comes into play in relation to what you do with that information after the fact.

/key words:  "certain types of information"
 
2014-04-18 02:02:03 PM  

Biological Ali: People who are upset about metadata collection would be better off accepting that it's not going to happen (and more broadly, disabusing themselves of the notion that there's any Constitutional issue to begin with), and focusing purely on petitioning Congress to change the relevant laws themselves.


100%.
 
2014-04-18 02:07:07 PM  

Weaver95: oh that's easy - we don't HAVE a right to privacy.  this country has been not so quietly eroding the 4th and 5th amendments for quite some time now.  we should just man up and invalidate 'em.  at least then we'd be honest about the direction we've been taking for the past 40 odd years.  once we get rid of those two pesky amendments, then we can work on getting rid of the 1st and 2nd.  then everyone will be happy!  we'll all have the government and society we said we've wanted for years.


I hope to see the 3rd repealed.

It's because I have bunk beds and I'm lonely.
 
2014-04-18 02:11:01 PM  

WTF Indeed: Communist_Manifesto: WTF Indeed: Diogenes: What I fear is that, regardless of rulings, it will continue and just be more covert and thorough.  NSA's not going to just throw up its hands and say, "OK, you got us!"

Ask Putin to send Snowden back, you know, when he's not throwing softball questions to a dictator on Russian TV to prove how evil America is.

Yes, because that's exactly what Snowden did.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin- su rveillance-us-leaders-snowden

It's called a softball question. "Hey, do you do the same thing that America does?" "Of course not! That would be immoral of me! Now let me go back to invading a country by proxy!"

Are you really that naive to think that Putin, or any quasi-dictator is going to answer unapproved questions on live TV?


Exactly. So the defense of Snowden is that he isn't "a traitor to the US that's ok with being used as a puppet by the Russians to distract from their attempt at taking over a neighboring country through inciting revolts and threats of military action", he's just an idiot who somehow didn't REALIZE that he'd never get an honest answer and that the only way he'd GET TO ASK THE QUESTION AT ALL is if Putin wanted to allow it and had a prepared answer.

Great. So he's just a self-important farking moron, not a self-important traitor.
 
2014-04-18 02:19:23 PM  
Well, we already know that Scalia and Thomas will vote for abolishing the Right to privacy. Those two have done more harm to Democracy than The Red Skull.
 
2014-04-18 02:20:47 PM  

bdub77: Why won't Scalia die already? I feel like there's this glut of assholes that haven't died. OK so you throw me a bone w/a Fred Phelps once in a while, but his crazy family lives on. Gah.


No. The SCOTUS even ruled in favor of the WBC's sick fetish for protesting soldier's funerals.
 
2014-04-18 02:36:10 PM  

Deneb81: WTF Indeed: Communist_Manifesto: WTF Indeed: Diogenes: What I fear is that, regardless of rulings, it will continue and just be more covert and thorough.  NSA's not going to just throw up its hands and say, "OK, you got us!"

Ask Putin to send Snowden back, you know, when he's not throwing softball questions to a dictator on Russian TV to prove how evil America is.

Yes, because that's exactly what Snowden did.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin- su rveillance-us-leaders-snowden

It's called a softball question. "Hey, do you do the same thing that America does?" "Of course not! That would be immoral of me! Now let me go back to invading a country by proxy!"

Are you really that naive to think that Putin, or any quasi-dictator is going to answer unapproved questions on live TV?

Exactly. So the defense of Snowden is that he isn't "a traitor to the US that's ok with being used as a puppet by the Russians to distract from their attempt at taking over a neighboring country through inciting revolts and threats of military action", he's just an idiot who somehow didn't REALIZE that he'd never get an honest answer and that the only way he'd GET TO ASK THE QUESTION AT ALL is if Putin wanted to allow it and had a prepared answer.

Great. So he's just a self-important farking moron, not a self-important traitor.


Then he went and wrote an op-ed in the guardian decrying putins statement and explaining he asked it so putin would be on the record. Of course if either of you bothered to read the link, you would know that. But keep on fellating the NSA and screaming about traitors and russian puppets or whatever.
 
2014-04-18 02:55:13 PM  
The right to privacy is akin to freedom of speech.  You can't have either of them without a boatload of money.
 
2014-04-18 03:02:53 PM  

Biological Ali: Headso: If you are pretending he didn't start a dialogue on spying that didn't exist before you are a democratic party apologist.

"Start a dialogue" seems like a pretty low bar to be setting here. If all he wanted to do was "start a dialogue", he could have accomplished that without breaking the law (or without having ever worked at the NSA, for that matter).


not really considering the dialogue has caused the supreme court to have to weigh in. Where are you safely monday morning quarterbacking his actions from a comfy chair or a starbucks stool?
 
2014-04-18 03:41:18 PM  

Headso: not really considering the dialogue has caused the supreme court to have to weigh in. Where are you safely monday morning quarterbacking his actions from a comfy chair or a starbucks stool?


The Supreme Court already weighed in - in 1979, when they found that metadata doesn't have the same Fourth Amendment protections as the actual content of your communications. TFA is just making a big deal out of some inconsequential (though admittedly thoughtful and interesting) comments from Scalia and Ginsburg about what might happen in a case that will, in all likelihood, never reach the Supreme Court to begin with.
 
2014-04-18 03:52:22 PM  

Biological Ali: Headso: not really considering the dialogue has caused the supreme court to have to weigh in. Where are you safely monday morning quarterbacking his actions from a comfy chair or a starbucks stool?

The Supreme Court already weighed in - in 1979, when they found that metadata doesn't have the same Fourth Amendment protections as the actual content of your communications. TFA is just making a big deal out of some inconsequential (though admittedly thoughtful and interesting) comments from Scalia and Ginsburg about what might happen in a case that will, in all likelihood, never reach the Supreme Court to begin with.


That's not true. The government ruled that a device known as a pen register that records what number a phone called aren't considered searches since people gave the data to a 3rd party company. The PATRIOT Act expanded it to all internet communication, this expansion has not been deemed to be constitutional or unconstitutional by the supreme court. The court may well come to the same conclusion in regards to this expansion, but it hasn't yet and to claim otherwise is wrong.
 
2014-04-18 04:20:32 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Jaymark108: I agree with the justices in the article.  They know very little about cutting edge technology and its vast implications, yet they are the ones making arbitrary decisions about whether or not vacuuming up enormous quantities of data on citizens not accused of a crime is reasonable.  I appreciate that they feel nervous about deciding it.

But when it comes right down to it, it has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with whether  it violates your rights. It's very simple. Don't over-complicate it. Either the government has the right to sniff your ass without reasonable suspicion, or it doesn't. In the past, it didn't.


Sticking with your analogy...  The government can't stick its nose up your butt, but can it sniff the air as you walk by?  Can it sniff the air three feet away from you?  One foot away?  Three inches?  What if a trained dog could pick out your farts from one hundred yards downwind?  At what point does the search become unreasonable?  Modern technology allows us to do things that were completely unthinkable to the nation's founders.  We need to continually update the lines in the sand that the government (and for that matter, an individual) is not allowed to cross, and the people doing the updating really ought to know something about what is possible and what isn't.
 
2014-04-18 05:08:24 PM  

Communist_Manifesto: That's not true. The government ruled that a device known as a pen register that records what number a phone called aren't considered searches since people gave the data to a 3rd party company. The PATRIOT Act expanded it to all internet communication, this expansion has not been deemed to be constitutional or unconstitutional by the supreme court. The court may well come to the same conclusion in regards to this expansion, but it hasn't yet and to claim otherwise is wrong.


The 1979 ruling was based not on the fact that the information related specifically to telephones, but that there is a distinction between the content of a communication and other details about the communication that have been voluntarily given to a third party - a distinction which very much applies still today. Indeed, the judge that upheld the constitutionality of the metadata collection program cited that very case, as one would expect.

You can make (and people have made) the argument that there's something about the internet that somehow makes the principle behind the 1979 ruling longer applicable, but it doesn't seem to be a particularly convincing one, at least when it comes to the courts.
 
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