Technology's gains produce losses of privacy, rights

St. Petersburg Times, FL –Technology's gains produce losses of privacy, rights.

Okay, maybe when following someone took three shifts of police, the lack of a warrant did not seriously endanger civil liberties. The extraordinary outlay of resources kept it from happening to too many people. But here, three shifts of police are traded in for a $100 GPS device. These economies will soon give police the option of attaching GPS devices to every resident's car so they can tell which cars are in the vicinity of future burglaries – a chilling specter but a possible one if the courts give the go-ahead.

Should the decreasing cost of surveillance tools mean the courts can be shut out of their traditional role of constraining law enforcement from spying on Americans who are not suspected of doing anything wrong?

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Now if you ask most Americans whether the Constitution protects them from having government watch where they go online or whom they write checks to or details of their book purchases, most would think so. But the Supreme Court says not.

Could this be any more counterintuitive or damaging to concepts of limited government? The high court needs to blow the dust off its jurisprudence and come into the 21st century. Whether we are traveling in public or transacting business in a bank the Bill of Rights should provide a shield from government detailing our actions. It is a reasonable expectation, no matter what the court says.  [Privacy Digest]

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