The Constitutional Right to Privacy and Modern Science and Technology with Alan Saltzman
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The Constitutional Right to Privacy and Modern Science and Technology with Alan Saltzman

August 23, 2019


The constitutional right to privacy in
modern science and technology Of course the constitution doesn’t say anything about privacy directly. it protects us all from the
government, from unreasonable searches and seizures Well, what does that mean? When is a search or seizure unreasonable? I described a bunch of circumstances where this kind of issue would come up science now permit others to learn intimate details about us by monitoring the locations our cards and cell phones, recording our telephone calls, videotaping our activities, reading your emails obtaining our DNA, collecting mega databases of our Internet activity and more. And all that exists. When the government wants to find out some of that, what limits are there on the governments finding that out? Well, what is the fourth amendment say? It gives us the right to be free from are reasonable searches and seizures. So what does that mean? How do we find out what’s reasonable search-and-seizure? In the end how do we find out? We ask the Supreme Court or the Supreme Court ends up telling us. What I’m going to do in the class is for the first couple classes, go through a bunch of fairly recent cases about what the Supreme Court has
said about when there’s airplane way over your head or
the police have a machine that they can shine on the side of your
house and tell what the temperature is inside your house they know whether you’re making meth. they want to find out. They put a GPS thing on your car track where you’re going. So for the first couple classes what we’ll do is we’ll look at the
supreme court decisions on those issues and see how they decided
them. and then after that we’ll look at a particular case that I found that is one that the court might be hearing this term, they’re not. but they could have been. And if you look at the handout, let me just read this to you. whenever your cell phone is on, not that you’re making a call, but whenever it’s on, ok? your carrier is keeping track of your exact location. They know, by
triangulating from the different towers, exactly the floor you’er on. And they keep
these records. So for the last two months they can tell exactly where you were every second that you had your phone on whether you were using it or not. so if the government wants those records? Can they just ask? The carrier to give them to them? Well, they can, they can ask, right? It turns out that there’s a statute, Congress has passed a statute which gives them the right to ask for that. so what we’re gonna do in the class the
last couple classes is we’re gonna do the Supreme
Court class members are going to the members
The Supreme Court or class members are going to be
lawyers arguing to the Supreme Court We will study this case that has this issue In it and you will see that it is not as complicated as you think. That there is only a few Supreme Court cases that really bear on this. And then we will have an orgal argument and some of you will be the lawyers arguing to the Supreme Court Some of you will be the play the roles of the Supreme Court. And then you’ll decide the case and and give your reasons for doing it. And I think by doing it that way you’ll get a real understanding of how the law is made in this area. So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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