Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We Should have Laws against Internet Surveillance

  One thing I haven't heard come out of the WikiLeaks story that should: whether it should be legal for someone to conduct surveillance on the Internet. All this talk of how the CIA can reach through our computers and monitor us should cause us to ask: Shouldn't we be outlawing this?
   "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
   Those words in the Fourth Amendment should be as valid in our day of computers and Internet as they were when the Founding Fathers wrote the Bill of Rights. We should be secure in our houses, papers and effects . . . and in our computers, Internet, and cell phones. Surveillance that hacks into our personal devices is -- to me -- very clearly in violation of the Fourth Amendment. That amendment goes on to say, "and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause." Perhaps, any surveillance upon us, then, is only occurring when search warrants are issued.
   But, note this: If the CIA can hack into our personal devices, so can others, criminals included.
   So, I wonder if we should create laws against it. Just as we have trespass laws and laws spelling out how government searches shall be conducted, and when they shall be allowed, so should we have laws concerning Internet eavesdropping. What are the specific crimes? We should define them. What are the penalties? We should establish them.
   The first way to fight against this invasion of our privacy is to legislate against it.

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