Tag Archives: supreme court

Automation and the Fourth Amendment-Can Machines Be Considered Humans?

I send an email to my attorney. Technically it goes through a third party: My email provider. Third party communications are not given privacy protection under the 4th Amendment.

Ruh-roh.

A powerful example of how the values espoused in the Constitution are running smack dab into the quantum leaps in technology.

Amplify’d from www.pogowasright.org

The Supreme Court has held that an individual relinquishes any Fourth Amendment interest in information that he or she voluntarily discloses to a third party. Known as the “Third Party Doctrine,” this controversial rule is increasingly problematic in an age where a large proportion of personal communications and transactions are carried out over the Internet. Internet users expose virtually all of the information they generate online—e-mails, web-surfing histories, search terms, and more—to online service providers. As such, many scholars have assumed that Internet information will be unprotected by the Fourth Amendment.

Yet the information disclosed to these online third parties is generally not exposed to human beings at all; rather, it is processed entirely by automated equipment. Neither courts nor scholars have squarely addressed whether disclosure to these automated third parties is sufficient to eliminate Fourth Amendment protection. However, courts have, without discussing the issue, already begun to treat automated Internet systems as the equivalent of human beings.

This Article explores these implications, challenging existing privacy market theories and conceptions of user behavior, and proposing a new model of Fourth Amendment privacy on the Internet.

Read more at www.pogowasright.org

 

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God Hates Elizabeth Edwards

Four simple words: What Would Jesus Do?

Amplify’d from www.msnbc.msn.com

A church that pickets funerals to protest what it calls American immorality says its members will be picketing the service this Saturday for Elizabeth Edwards, who died of breast cancer on Tuesday.

Signs like “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” have been raised at military funerals, and the church announced its latest action with a press release titled “God hates Elizabeth Edwards.”

The church has gotten the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, which last October heard arguments over whether it has a free speech right to picket funerals with its controversial signs.

The Supreme Court justices heard arguments in the emotion-laden case of Albert Snyder. His son died in Iraq in 2006, and members of the church protested the funeral.

The members of the small church welcome the attention the protests have brought, mocking their critics and vowing not to change their ways whatever the outcome at the Supreme Court.

“No American should ever be required to apologize for following his or her conscience,” said Margie Phelps, a daughter of Fred Phelps and the lawyer arguing the case for the church.

While distancing themselves from the church’s message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, have called on the court to side with church because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode free speech rights.

Read more at www.msnbc.msn.com