Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Supreme Court and privacy

Gizmodo has an interesting read for Americans on a recent supreme court ruling that was actually in our collective favor.  The ruling was that cops cannot place a gps on your vehicle for tracking without first getting a warrant.  That is the broad victory, essentially police don't have the power to track you just because they feel like it.  They must first convince a judge that it is pertinent to a case that they tie your movement to specific locations.  That is pretty huge in our post 9/11 tea cup.  Most rulings have upheld the right of the government to tap your phones without a warrant, and let the complicit telephone companies off the hook for their involvement.  Others rulings have approved the detention and deportation of suspected terrorist, and generally trampled on your right to not be poked and peeped up on by your government.

The article goes further and calls out specifically our champion of privacy Justice Sotomayor, and what he sees as a confluence of events that are making it easier for us to be spied on given the current legal frame work.  In essence the information that we give to thirdparties (think google, foursquare, twitter and facebook) is not subject to 4th amendment rights because we have not resonable expectation of privacy on things we have passed to third parties aka third party doctrine.  There have been some attempts to modernize this see Stored Communications Act 1986.

Any how something to be positive about, at least a few justices can see the value to privacy.


  1. Fucking hell, there shouldnt be a ruling to tell cops to fuck off and not track people to begin with. However Im glad it happened. Police state we live in now a days.

  2. Weird how privacy is almost a dirty word these days. Good on the SC.