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Drones and Law Enforcement

Technology has always been ahead of the law, or so the adage goes. Smartphones, internet-enabled vehicles & wristwatches, health monitors, home video cameras, and other devices have all been part of the discussion around privacy and technology. It’s nearly impossible to write privacy laws to cover devices and capabilities that have yet to be invented, so often times there is new technology on the market while the law tries to catch up. Some believe that to be the case with drones. I do not concur.

The use of drones has been increasing exponentially over the last few years with drones being available for private use, businesses, news reporting, and law enforcement, to name a few. Drones are so prevalent that anyone can purchase one on Amazon for fifty bucks, and that includes the attachable 2MP HD Wifi camera. At that price, having a personal drone may become as common as having a cell phone.

But not everyone is fond of […] → Keep reading

The Fourth Amendment & Foreign Intelligence

Since the Bill of Rights came into effect in 1791, Americans have had certain rights delineated in the Amendments and also certain protections coming from restrictions placed on the government. Among these restrictions is the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before a search of a someone’s property can be made. The interpretation of the Amendment has varied over the last two centuries, slightly changing the protections that courts will enforce, but the overall tenor of the bill has remained the same. But does the protection granted citizens in the Fourth Amendment apply when foreign agents conduct the search? Apparently not.

The Guardian in the UK has reported that Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) has been intercepting and storing webcam images from millions of internet users. The relationship between the GCHQ and U.S. intelligence began long before computer technology was around but has […] → Keep reading