When is a search not a search?
Or, more pointedly: When are electronic or other forms of surveillance of an individual considered a search under the Fourth Amendment -- thus requiring a valid warrant to conduct such surveillance in a manner that protects the individual from 'unlawful search and seizure'?
How the U.S. Supreme Court answers that question, in a case on its docket for the term starting in October, will have far-reaching implications for the power of government and for the privacy of individuals, according to lawyers and privacy rights advocates.
If the Court holds that warrants are not required for this type of surveillance, it could mean 'the technological death of the Fourth Amendment,” warns Arkansas-based attorney John Wesley Hall, a leading Fourth Amendment expert who also writes a blog and runs a website.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011