Thursday, September 18, 2008

Invasion of Palin's Email Is UnConstitutional

It's just completely sickening to see what horrible things some people do and get away with doing. The hacker(s) who violated Sarah Palin's privacy by invading her email and making them public should be hunted down and prosecuted at the fullest extent of the law.

Speaking of the law, no, I'm not a lawyer or any kind of academic expert about it, but the way I see it one should not have to be in order to understand the basic foundation of all our laws, The US Constitution.

I've been in an argument about why this hacking event does or does not fall under the authority of the Fourth Amendment. Apparently, back in 1984 the Supreme Court, in its excessive vigor to fight the "War On Drugs," decided that the Fourth Amendment only applies to government agencies and not to private citizens. That was the majority opinion, but there were some dissenting opinions too with which I mostly agree. I think that case was an excellent example of when the dissenters were really the more correct ones. Oddly enough, I seem to be in agreement with the Justices who were considered more "liberal." Well, sometimes I think these labels are pretty meaningless when it comes to common sense and careful rationality and concern for privacy and personal rights and freedoms as prescribed by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court does have the final say about what our laws mean, but it is possible for it to come to the wrong conclusions based on their political leanings and the political environment of the time. And it is always possible for new cases to be brought that re-examine old rulings.

In today's political environment, in which individuals have so much more ability through technology to invade and violate the privacy of others, often even more so than 'government agents," it would be a good idea to look again at the Fourth Amendment and how it must apply to individuals and private groups in addition to government agents. There absolutely must be some serious reconsideration about requiring individuals and private groups to respect the right of privacy of others by including them under the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

While it seems like common sense that violating people's "persons, houses, papers, and effects" are already covered by all the laws against trespassing and theft, apparently it looks necessary to in today's culture and situation to make the invasion of personal privacy an even more serious crime, much like so many of the decisions regarding Freedom of Speech and the other First Amendment rights.

Okay, maybe this is an overly simplistic or naive point of view, but sometimes that's what it takes to see through all the obfuscation and overcomplicated mess that other people want to use to defend their wrong ideas. I don't think anyone with a brain could really argue against strengthening our rights to privacy, whether the violators are private citizens or government agents. Without proper privacy and respect for others' privacy there can be no real Freedom of any kind.


Steve Keohane said...

Hi Rae Ann, I always like your comments on Lubos blog, I might have seen them too at CA or Watts Up With That. Keep up the good attitude and clear thinking. Just thought I'd stop by and say hi.

Rae Ann said...

Hi Steve! Thanks so much! Please forgive me if I sometimes am a little too "vicious". ;-)