Police Surveillance Essay

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Submitted By Chiefs05
Words 474
Pages 2
Police Surveillance Response Paper
Again that tiny phrase in the Fourth Amendment has been challenged. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The drafters of the constitution could never have anticipated how much technology would test the very heart of this amendment, especially after the tragedy of September 11th.
In 1928 Olmstead v. United States would be the first case to test the Fourth Amendment protection of privacy verse technology. Olmstead claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated by the police wiretapping his phone line, which constituted a "search." The Supreme Court ruled that his rights had not been violated, since the tap had been place on a junction box outside the home and there had been no physical intrusion on his property. In his dissent Judge Brandeis explained; "In the application of a Constitution, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been, but what maybe. The progress of science in furnishing the government with the means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions….Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?"
In Katz v United States, the Supreme Court overturned Olmstead, ruling that "the Fourth Amendment protects…...

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