Friday, July 11, 2014

Electronic Information Rights

The definition of privacy is forever changing in the United States. The right to privacy is protected by the fourth amendment, but as today’s era of social media and data storage comes into bloom, there is significant debate over what is private and what is not. The Bill of rights was added to the constitution over 200 years ago, and has done a very good job so far of protecting the citizens of the United States. This clause was added to the constitution to guarantee the citizens of the United States some basic human rights. The Supreme Court recently took a case on whether or not a search warrant was necessary or not in order for police officers to search through a smart phone. The article can be found here. Before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of this new rule, smart phones were considered a piece of evidence found on a suspect, like a piece of paper with a note or legal documents. The new ruling makes it necessary for the police to obtain a warrant before searching through a phone. This is to help prevent self-incrimination.
 I personally believe that this is a step in the right direction. The right to privacy is one of the most basic of the human rights, and it is also one of the most violated here in the United States. Over the last several months it has come to light how much The United States Government invades and collects information about our daily lives. This new law explicitly forbids the government for what should have been implied. This new law also highlights both the greatest strength and weakness of the Bill of Rights. They are extremely vague. Our founding fathers wrote them so that they could continue to make sense with modern times, but sometimes they are helplessly trivialized by the rapid expansion of technology. As a result, many questionable court cases have arisen about what exactly is protected under the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court continues to settle these controversies as they arise, but in order to completely protect the American people, there must be some Major legal reform.
As the world moves into the Information age, one of the most import human rights that can be protected is the privacy of information. Whether it is a Cell Phone or a form of social media, the world around us is evolving at a rapid rate. In order to protect electronic Privacy, a new system is needed to protect the American people. Our best hope is that whatever this new law may be, it has just as much of a profound and lasting impact on the United States as the Original Bill of Rights had during the birth of this grand country.

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